Art, becoming, Figure, Sketches

And here’s a portrait sketch. I’m trying to draw every night. This is in soft vine charcoal on toned tan.


Landscaping today


I decided to do a monochromatic oil painting on gessoed watercolor paper taper to foam core for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s very light and portable. Also my teacher mentioned that I might prefer a less bumpy surface than cotton canvas. I chose monochrome because I’ve enjoyed my work in grisaille. I feel it has challenged me to focus on drawing skills, tone, space and form. With all that to learn to control, I’m pulling back a bit on the color for a bit. 

The group met at a water park near a dam and a bridge on the creek. We selected the view of the bridge. Here is my work.



Homework this week: copy an old master drawing… my choice was Lucretia by Raphael (1508-1510) I used red chalk on cream paper. Probably should have done this bigger but it was a really good exercise.

Homework 2


In class, we’ve been working with closed grisaille. This is my second piece using that technique that I’ve done for practice at home. 

This is my summary of the steps.

Step 1. Draw in white chalk

Step 2. Trace chalk with paint and add shadow

Step 3. Retrace drawing in chalk

Step 4. Darkest dark, lightest light. Then work from dark to light.

When I was done I put down a neutral background…

I’ve been busy!


I’ve been taking a class at the Art Students League. In addition to that I’ve been continuing my own work at home. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve completed since my last post.

This one was weird and I scraped it off the canvas after I photographed it. I didn’t like the composition and that really matters to me…

This was a 3 hour pose from class. It’s really not finished but I’m going to just let it be. I like it.

This was my first home work from class. I like the composition. It may be worth glazing color onto this one eventually.

This is one I’ve been working on for a while. I think it’s almost done!

A quick little drawing which I quite like 🙂

Another Still Life 


I decided there was nothing to lose by trying some new techniques with this one. Here are the results. I’m quite happy!

It’s much stronger and braver now. I brought back some of my original compositional elements and got much less literal with the leaves. It’s interesting to see how much more alive the piece is now. 

Here’s from before: 

 This has been a really hard piece. So much going on! 

It’s not quite done yet. There are still a few areas to clarify and I need to bump up the reflected light on the small vase. I think I’m in danger of overworking it though so I’m going to let it rest. After it dries a week I think I’ll be able to reinvigorate it again. 

In the meantime I’m ready for something simpler and without too many leaves!

May Still Life


I enjoyed the last little still life quite a bit. The rains hadn’t knocked all the red flowers off the first flowering shrub and the lilacs started blooming. That plus throwing my knee out moving furniture yesterday kept me home from my drawing class today. I figured I could set up another still life and work on it while seated. I hobbled out and got the flowers, found the sake vessels and spent an hour working on composition. (I struggle with still life set up.) I think the effort spent on set up paid off. This is just a start, but I feel it’s a promising one 🙂 

It’s quite a bit bigger than the last one. 20×20… A challenge for me… but lately I’ve been feeling like I like the freedom of a bigger size.

I hope I don’t ruin it…

I think it might be done!