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!

A still life for the week


 I’m working on getting my drawing and painting to come together more. I think if I can achieve in my painting some of what I get from my drawings it will make the paintings stronger. I was really conscious in this piece of creating the form out of tone and looseness. In my drawings I erase as much as I put down. In this piece, I scraped back a lot. I also tried not to iterate everything; let some things be unstated. Or understated… I think I got closer to the feel of my drawings. One real challenge is finding time to paint during the week.

I may still tweak this piece a bit once this layer dries… I think I need to darken the bit behind the dish a hair and up the shadows slightly…



I’ve been going through my sketchbooks to get ideas for a series. I keep noticing that my sketchbooks are filed with images of people. I’m beginning to explore emotion through figures and faces. I don’t know why it took me so long to see that that is what interests me. But here we go! 

My drawing skills are more developed than my painting skills. I a going to be trying to turn some of my more captivating drawings into paintings. This is a tonal sketch of my drawing. I may use it as reference for a larger painting or use it as a beginning of a grisaille.