Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Incognito Project Book Proof!

The proof came in, we approved it and it went back out! It's gonna be cool :)
Approved by Carly Strickland, who is the book's designer and Matter Deep Publishing Art Director.

The book is available for pre-order by emailing me at for $60 (includes domestic shipping).

OR  for $65 at:

The Incognito Project Exhibit, November 3, 2012, 5-9 pm at Art Folk Gallery, Young and Vann Building, 1731 First Avenue North, in Birmingham, AL, USA.

Amy Strickland has written a free pdf download about how we ran our successfully funded Kickstarter for this printing project.

More about the project on my blog here, all the paintings in the show on this page of my website.

Or on the Underpaintings Blog, written by artist Matthew Innis or on the Painting Stuff to Look Like Stuff Blog, a blog by artists Kate Stone and Dave Gluck.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Professor Rattus and Her Royal Court Video

I made a video of the pet rat wrangling that went on behind the scenes at the photo shoot for this painting.



Here's Carly's statement from the book about Professor Rattus.

Witness Statement:
I find that my ability to converse intelligently is inversely proportional to my proximity to a furry mammal. If it’s furry and friendly, I want to hold it and talk to it to the exclusion of the humans around me. My conversation, that may have started as, “Why, yes, I did hear that the Large Hadron Collider created an event that was a hundred thousand times hotter than the sun,” devolves into, “My goodness! Who’s a furry critter? You’re a furry thing. Yes, you are.” Take equal parts Asimov and Conan Doyle, two writers I’m passionate about, and add a dash of furry minions, and I can wallow in a mystical land tailored just for me.  ~Carly

This painting is one of The Incognito Project pieces:
~You may see the painting in Birmingham, AL on Nov.3 2012, at Art Folk Gallery, 5-9 pm, Young and Vann Building, 1731 First Avenue North. 
~You may pre-order the book about the project by emailing me at ($60, includes domestic shipping)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oil Painting Demo - 2 Methods of Under Painting

Today I did a demo of under painting techniques using Gamblin Fastmatte alkyd oil paint and Rembrandt oil paint at Forstall Art Center where I teach oil painting class, here in Birmingham, AL.

Thanks to Randy Webb, local artist and demo attendee for generously allowing me to use his pictures and video for my blog!

I did two paintings, the first was an open, color grisaille. Basically it was a wash using Fastmatte paint, thinned with odorless mineral spirits. It's considered open because you leave the white of the canvas to indicate the lights of the painting, much like a watercolor painting. Fastmatte is designed to dry fast so you can do an underpainting and it will be dry by the next day so you can begin the second layer quickly.

I started with a pencil drawing on Ampersand Gessobord, professional quality.
After  the pencil drawing was complete I redrew it using a Faber Castell sepia pen. Next I mixed up a few strings of color, some interesting grays and a couple of reds.
Using odorless mineral spirits I thinned the paint and began washing in areas working from the background to the foreground and from the darkest to the lightest. 

Finished local color grisaille. 9x12
Next I did a rub out, or value study, open grisaille. I used Rembrandt burnt umber mixed with a little medium mixture that is linseed oil/mineral spirits, 60/40 ratio. I do not use the Fastmatte for this type rub out since it dries too quickly.
The entire panel is covered in paint using a large soft brush.
I use a soft T-Shirt scrap to wipe out the lights. 
I will add back in more paint if I have rubbed out too much.
Final open grisaille value study. This could be painted over in couple days with full color. 
Here's one I did with my class, so you get the idea of full color and how the rub out can inform subsequent layers.

And here's how that one started. Value Study With a Twist, 9x12
One last note, this one about the still life set-up. (you can see it in a couple the photos and the video).

I use a box made of foam core that folds up. The sides are 3, white pieces, that I have hinged together with packing tape. It is then draped in black cloth. A large piece of black foam core is laid on top. I have cut out space for the clamp-on lamp and the cord to stick out the top.

This has turned out to be a great solution to the problem of blocking light pollution from the ceiling, while adding a dramatic light to the still life and the problem of storage of the set-ups. I don't have a dedicated space for my class so the still life has to be packed up after every class. It travels back and forth from the center easily and I have 4 of them. They lay flat and don't take up much room. I can fit three students to one still life.

My first set-up nearly caught fire and cooked the fruit so this is a much better solution! It pays to have an engineer in the family.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free Gamblin Fast Matte Demo

Hey Birmingham area folks!

I'm doing a FREE painting demo at  Forstall Art Center this coming Saturday, 10am-12pm. I'll be demonstrating underpianitng techniques with Gamblin Artists Colors Fast Matte and other paint. Call them at (205) 870-0480 to sign-up. Feel free to share this info with everyone.
Here is a post about the last underpainting demo I did for them here


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