Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upcoming Workshop at the New Mexico Art League

You can now sign up for my portrait drawing workshop in Albuquerque, NM!  Registration is open online here at the school's website https://newmexicoartleague.wildapricot.org/workshops

And you can also call and make a reservation by phone- 505-293-5034

Hope to see you there! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

New Charcoal Drawings

"Portrait on Buff Paper", 18x26, charcoal with white chalk on Canson paper, 2014. Sold

Here are some new charcoal drawings.  I like to make them to release some energy whilst in the middle of longer oil painting projects that require far more rendering.  The composition and design in these drawings are a huge part of the fun and satisfaction I derive from doing them.  The experimental nature of finding shapes and sketching out forms is also interesting, and in the last few months I have found myself finishing quite a few of these.  


"Commedia Dell'Arte Character", 18x26", charcoal with white chalk on Ingres paper, 2014. Unsold

"Clowness" 60x40", oil on canvas.

In case you were wondering this is what the "Commedia Dell'Arte" face paint looks like in color.

"Do Not Disturb" 18x26" charcoal on Canson Mi-Teintes with white chalk, 2014. Unsold

Canson's Buff paper remains a favorite of mine.  The warmth is quite charming and I like the way the white chalk gleams off the page.  

Having tea with the flowers!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Rite of Spring

It had been a while since i took a celebratory photo shoot of my of my works so here it is!  Rite of Spring was just leaning again the model stand, newly framed in gilt metal leaf and had a new life about it.  

"Rite of Spring" 22x44 inches, oil on canvas 2014

I really enjoy the play of brushwork in this painting.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Works on Paper

"Hope" 19x14", charcoal with white chalk on Ingres paper, 2014. Sold

Some new works on paper.  I have been favoring the charcoal and white chalk method, using various kind of paper.  Some of my favorite papers have included an array of low chroma Canson Mi-Teintes (although the Buff/Salmon paper is a rather high chroma orange brown.  This is an exception for me which has worked to advantage).  With canson I usually use Pearl, Oyster, Light Grey, Cream or Moonstone which has a nice pebbly pattern.

"Hope" Detail

This "Hope" drawing was made on Hahnemuhle Ingres.  Ingres is a nice "laid" paper, which means that one side of the drawing surface has more noticeable horizontal lines than the vertical lines it criss crosses.  I forget exactly what the story was with his paper but I heard something along the lines of Ingres himself making a visit to a paper manufacturer and picking up a sheet of this paper and commenting on the lines, which had been a mistake.  The paper than stuck and more people began to use it.  

"Michael Mentler" 18x26, charcoal with white chalk on Canson paper, 2014. Sold

"Michael Mentler" Detail

This is another great Canson Mi-Teintes sheet.  Canson is a nice go to paper for all kinds of pastel or charcoal I find, it can take a "beating" plus it gives you rather sharp lines but also blends well.  I like how I can build up layers of shade and work back into them without too much detail our value being lost (I sometimes brush or "paint" back into my work using a bristle brush, which does tend to lift off charcoal.  I use this to great affect too.  Mistakes in charcoal, aka things happening that you don't want to happen, can be good lessons to store up for the next time you actually DO want this effect to take place).

"Bow" 20x21", charcoal on Rives BFK paper, 2014 $500

"Bow" Detail

This drawing was done on Rives BFK which is actually a print paper, so it has a nice smooth surface but still a heavy weight.  This paper doesn't take a beating very well so perhaps subconsciously this is why my "Bow" drawing is more reliant on line and suggestion to convey my intentions.  All the same the paper has a lovely quality and look about it, plus I am pretty sure you could use it more aggressively.  I like that it comes in larger dimensions too so you can get a wider drawing.  

"Scream" 16x14", charcoal on Arches paper. 2013 $500

"Scream" was done on Arches Cold Press Watercolor paper.  This paper was bright white so I used a lot more tone on this drawing.  It is a great surface to work on and I will be using it again.  I had not drawn on this paper with charcoal since my days at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, where I made a long few week figure drawing.  On that occasion I toned the paper with black ink so that I had a neutral toned surface to work with and add white chalk to.  

The versatility and experimentation of drawing and its supplies are what is hooking me at the moment with this medium.  I am enjoying trying a slightly different technique each time, which arises from a new papers color or texture, or the range of charcoals and chalks I set myself.  I'd say the biggest difference in the drawings I am doing now as opposed to at the ateliers I studied in, is that I am being a bit more expressive with the effects of line.  I made a rule with myself that I would draw larger, life size, so as to avoid sanding my tools to a needle point.  The exercise in this was to utilize the materials natural point, whether it be a jumbo stick of charcoal, a 2 mm willow stick, a 8 mm nitram stick, or conte crayon or pencil.  See, I have a variety of tools!  I use brushes and my finger tips too.  

"Wig Portrait" 19x26, charcoal with white chalk on Canson paper, 2014. Sold

"Wig Portrait" Detail

This is Buff/Salmon colored paper which I was talking about really enjoying.  I like this contrast that it gives both the white chalk and the black and grey of the charcoal.