Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes

This is a short video that my daughter-in-law, Amy made about the cover photo shoot we did for her upcoming book, The Pantheon, the first in her Olympia Heights series. It shows my working process and my messy studio. This is the same type session I do with a model when I'm shooting reference photos, although I don't usually have such a rocking soundtrack, but maybe I should!

You'll notice the crazy thumbnail sketches of model poses and playing with the lighting, using a key light and reflected light. All the painting paraphernalia is just shoved to the side of the studio to make room for the model, lights and tripod.

This young man has modeled for me before and the paintings are designed so you'll recognize him in other work besides Amy's book cover, which is coming out this summer.

edited July 15, 2011:
Olympia Heights, The Pantheon, available here for Kindle!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Divine Comedy in the Studio

Have I said lately that I love my job? AND The Incognito Project? 'Cause when your doing "camp" there is no such thing as "too far", and sometimes when exploring "camp" you just may stumble on "poignant".

I had all my lights out for the "Photography for Artists" workshop yesterday, so I decided to shoot photo reference for Harold's Incognito Project painting. I do not usually share reference photos of models but I don't think Harold will mind.
Harold is a skull owned by my friend Janie. This isn't the first time Harold has been under my brush. A couple of years ago Harold and Janie's son, Pete, modeled when I did a few paintings exploring mortality and Hamlet. Pete is the perfect Danish Prince and Harold is a dead ringer for Yorick.
"Goodnight Sweet Prince", oil, 37x24
 "I Knew Him Well", oil, 15x30
 "Memento Mori", oil, 36x56
Pete and Janie have modeled for The Incognito Project as well, but no peeking at those till the paintings are done. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bon Voyage Little Still Life Paintings!

Today I packed up a couple small paintings and shipped them to Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA for their Spring Still Life Invitational, opening Friday April, 15, 6:30-9:00 PM.
This one is called "Gray Morning", it's 12x13 and oil on canvas over panel.

The Second piece is a little study of grapes and light. "One", 9x12, oil on paper.
Still life is not my usual subject matter but I enjoyed doing these paintings. It's a pleasure to spend time observing the play of light and shadow on simple subjects.

I was reminded why so many great figure painters and portrait artists also study fruit, there is something in the translucence of a grape with light shining through it that is reminiscent of the luminosity of flesh.

And why painters traditionally paint eggs as a "back to basics" study. Getting the modeling down while capturing reflected color, light and shadow was a challenge. The egg painting set-up had a red-orange piece of paper reflecting back onto the still life, as a demonstration to my students of color reflections and a study of the relative nature of color temperature.

Both of these paintings I started with my students and worked on them off and on with them as demonstration pieces.


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