Pretty Boy

“Pretty Boy” 6×6″ oil on linen panel.

This is a bit of an experiment, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

I didn’t use a model or a reference photo for this painting, but instead made it up completely from my imagination. While this portrait is not that unique (I make up faces all the time, for fun), it’s not typical for me to do what I did with the color on this one. Instead of simply inventing the flesh tones, the lights, darks, pinks, greens, warms, cools, I consulted a photo (with a different pose, with a different person) just to “get” the color. Not sure I was completely successful, but I think it’s a worthy exercise and made me really think.

After studying with Adam Clague, I am taught to look for the warms and cools on an object, as well as value, and what color is it (blue? green? magenta? orange?). One of the “rules” is that if you have cool lights, you have warm shadow. If you have warm lights, you have cool shadows.

I applied this rule (as best as I could) and so this portrait has cool lights (flesh tones with a more magenta tint are “cooler” than flesh tones with a yellowish tint) and warm shadows (I used a lot of Transparent Red Oxide in the shadows). While this portrait is just getting me started, it was gratifying and fun to do it.

The title “Pretty Boy” refers to my penchant to draw pretty people when I am inventing faces. I guess this harks back to my childhood, and all the handsome TV heros I grew up with, and sketched in my sketchbook.

EDIT: Ah, such is the life of an artist. A crazy, crazy artist. I pulled an “all-nighter” in my studio and tweaked this painting. And tweaked it. (And constantly updated this page with a picture of each new tweak.) I’m not saying it’s better or worse now, just “different.” Oh boy.

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Ginger Cowboy

Ginger Cowboy, 8×10, oil on canvas panel

This is a little different from some of my other recent paintings. But it’s a “guilty pleasure.”

“Ginger Cowboy” is from a series of art I’ve done for years. Somewhat campy, romanticized, corny (if you will) portraits of cowboys inspired by my childhood love for TV westerns. (I loved—and still love—those old reruns like “Wagon Train,” “Maverick,” “The Big Valley” and on and on!).

This was painted with no reference, no model, no photo, just from my imagination, which explains why he looks a little different from some of my other work. When I paint these cowboys, they are a compilation of every handsome TV cowboy that I loved since childhood!

Cowboy Plate, earthenware with commercial underglazes, on wheel-thrown plate.

Here’s a plate I made years ago, during my ceramics phase (which I hope to return to very soon!). I’m very fond of “my” cowboys. They’ve been my fond companions for a very long time.

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Work in Progress, Cowboy

This is an exciting experiment. I am posting this from my email account! Squee!

I found a photo of this painting in my computer’s scans folder. Now I need to finish it! I added a few fiddles in Photoshop to see where I could go with it.

Oil on 6×6″ Gessoboard.

P.S. I went in later and a little editing to this post on my regular computer. Like adding tags and category.

Work In Progress, Cowboy in Greens. 6×6″ Oil on Gessobord

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Cowboy pencil sketch

A cowboy drawing from my sketchbook. I was watching a TV show where this guy had this great black cowboy hat, and so I tried to draw it (the hat, and also the guy wearing the hat). The drawing doesn’t look anything like the guy on TV, but it was still a lot of fun to do such a sketch, and it’s my firm belief that such sketching keeps our skills sharp!

guy in big cowboy hat

Okay, so I didn’t make the cowboy hat black, like in the original. But I know that it’s supposed to be black, see? 😉

I think I might make this into a little oil painting someday.

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