Behold a Pale Orange Cat & super-mini studio setup

I’ve got a few new cat head paintings to post, but first, the latest news:

“Pale Orange Cat,” 5″ x 7″ oil on Pintura Painting Panel

Another painting completed tonight! This time, I finished this little painting at a most unusual working space: my computer desk!

As I mentioned in a previous post, these are desperate times for me (studio-wise) because now I am fulfilling my duties as a part-time caregiver for a family member. Gone are the days when I can gallivant away to my lovely studio and paint until the wee hours. I must stay homebound and be a caregiver. (And that’s okay. It’s family, after all!) I finally developed a workaround (a small studio area) to allow me to work in a very cramped space, but tonight, I decided to go even smaller.

I hope that my situation (and my solution for it) might be useful for other artists out there. Surely I’m not the only one who is dealing with a desperate need to paint, but only with cramped spaces available to work!

My very small

My very small “studio area.”

I did my painting on a computer table. Not even a “real” computer table, just some table that I’ve been using for my 20″ iMac. 

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Tabby Tabby Tabby

“Tabby, Tabby, Tabby” 6×6″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to Axel Naud of flickr for his photo I used as reference. (His photo is available under a generic Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Finally! A new painting! It’s so nice to finally be back to painting. I missed it so much.

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My micro-mini studio space, with some cat heads.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d add a little more information about my itty-bitty, microscopic studio “area.” Perhaps all the information I share here will help someone else set up a small studio too.

Cat Head work in progress, on its

Cat Head work in progress, on its “easel,” a Guerilla Painter Thumb Box (5×7″).

I only have a super-cramped area in which to work. I use overhead light as my light source. (So far, so good.) Right now all I’ve been  working on are smaller paintings that can fit in the “easel” part of my small Pocket Box (maximum size, 5×7″). Very soon I’ll be using another table easel type thing that should accommodate slightly larger panels (hopefully up to at least 12×12″).

A wider view of the whole

A wider view of the whole “studio” area, crammed onto a small foldable table.

Here’s a wider view of the studio layout:

I’m using an inexpensive 26″ x 18″ foldable table (bought from Amazon.com). On the left is the tablet (a 10-inch Android-based Lenovo) which displays my reference photo (a cat head picture from Flickr!).

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After another long absence, some updates, awards, etc

I have neglected this blog (as well as painting), but it hasn’t been without a reason.

Some old (but still exciting) news is that I got some recognition from the Art Muse Contest for April 2016. Thank you so much to the judge! I was a finalist in the “Emerging” category and also got the additional honor of being eligible for Gallery Representation. Pretty cool, and I am honored and thrilled!

“The Greek Artist” 12″ x 12″ oil on panel. Finalist in the Art Muse Contest! This is a portrait of a fellow artist who has strong Greek roots—a detail that brings him great pride! I snapped an impromptu photo of him while he was attending a figure drawing session. The photo made a good basis for a portrait.

“The Greek Artist” also got a “Fav 15%” from the Bold Brush awards, so that was also very cool.

There were a couple of other honors, and I need to update my “About Me” page to include them! This Spring was especially good to me.

And for other news… the last several months I’ve been quiet on this blog. I also haven’t posted any new paintings for sale on DailyPaintworks or UGallery for quite a while.

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Such a Good Kitty

“Such a Good Kitty” 4×4″ oil on panel.

This little black and white kitty caught my eye. What a sweet expression! Painting black and white fur is always fun!

For this piece I used a 4×4″ panel which was primed with some Michael Harding Foundation White. Well, it wasn’t white when I got through with it—I mixed in some blue before priming some plain wood panels. There’s something special about using lead-based priming for oil painting!

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Profile in Blue

“Profile in Blue,” 6×6″ oil on panel. Thanks to Dailiaa of dA for the photo I used as reference.

It’s been a frustrating few weeks, with not enough opportunity to paint, and a propensity for procrastination even when there was some time to paint. There’s no excuse for this! But, thankfully in the last few days, I’ve carved out more time for art.

I started this painting about a week ago, and while I initially planned for it to be finished reasonably quickly (they call it “Daily Painting” for a reason), that’s not what happened.  I fussed with this, and corrected that, and finally I have decided that enough is enough.

So, put a fork in it, it is done! 

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Working with a tablet; FABULOUSLY ORANGE cat head

Using a Kindle Fire tablet for drawing reference (Work in Progress pencil sketch). Click on picture to see larger version. (Reference photo is from posespace.com.)

I thought I’d write a little bit about a common tool used by artists: A digital tablet.

Many artists report that tablets are superior for displaying reference photos. Tablets are not limited by the resolution of a print on paper. You can zoom in on an image to see far more detail. The colors are often more accurate and with a wider range.

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About Student vs. Artist Grade Oil Paints—Products & Brands

My web stats tell me that my page “A word about student paint” gets plenty of visitors. I think there’s a lot of curiosity about which products to buy, which ones are “best,” and which are rip-offs.

Well, before I start giving my opinions, bear in mind that it is just, like, my opinion, man. But, I think most of what I say here will be not too far off the beaten path, or in other words, will not conflict too much with popular opinion.

A small portion of my paint collection.

SUMMARY OF STUDENT VS. ARTIST GRADE OIL PAINTS:

You’ll see “Student” paint sold alongside “Artist” grade paint, but at a lower price. For instance, Winsor & Newton’s Artist and Student line are as follows: Winsor & Newton Artist Oil Color and Winton.  Winton is the student grade. Maimeri Puro is (one of the) artist grade brands from Maimeri, while Classico is their student grade (though actually Classico isn’t that bad). Some brands (like Blockx or Old Holland) only sell artist grade. Other brands (like Soho, sold through Jerry’s Artarama) are only student grade. (And Soho is very low-end, by the way. Just saying.)

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Back again, Back again, Happy New Year!

“Fluffy Tuxedo Kitty” 6×6″ oil on cradled panel.

After a regrettably long hiatus, I am back with a new cat head painting! And for the New Year!

Circumstances in life prevented me from getting into my studio to paint for the past several months. I tried to compensate for that by doing some drawings at home. (More on that later.) But now I am back, and am working on some new paintings! This little cat head is the first to be completed. I especially was trying to capture the fluffiness of this kitty with soft brush strokes and lost edges. Also, warm and cool temperatures were used to show depth (I hope).

With this painting I also attempted to go looser! It was fun!

Words cannot express how much I missed painting, and how WONDERFUL it felt to be back to it!

But, I did do some fun pencil work, and below is my latest piece. It probably needs some more tweaking. It’s simple graphite pencil (0.05mm mechanical pencil, HB lead) on smooth paper.

“Untitled” (so far), pencil on paper, approximately 6×7″. Probably still needs some tweaks.

I’m a BIIIIIG fan of crosshatching.

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Natalie

“Natalie,” 12×12″ oil on cradled panel

Natalie is an artist friend. She and her husband (another artist, coincidentally!) agreed to model for me. I’ve taken a series of photos and plan to use them as the basis for some paintings.

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Big Ears (Cat Head)

“Big Ears,” 5×5″ oil on Gessobord

This lovely kitty was painted in one sitting, which is a little unusual for me. Or perhaps this is my “new normal”? I had a 5×5″ piece of Gessobord and it needed to be used.

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