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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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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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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Windswept

“Windswept,” 8×8″ oil on linen panel. Thanks to BirdsistersStock on dA for the stock photo used as reference!

I liked the expression on this model, and the colors in the skin, so thought it would be an interesting study!

The color scheme in this painting seemed to be predominately green, and peach. I like this color combo and had a lot of fun mixing the colors. 

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Levi portrait

“Levi,” 12×12″ oil on cradled panel.

I’ve been picking at this painting, nursing it along, and there comes a point where it has to be DONE. I think there might be a few dabs here and there I might add… but not now! Not today! Not tomorrow! I can’t take it anymore!

The back story on this painting is as follows.

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“Quizzical,” and various other updates

“Quizzical,” 12×16″ oil on cradled panel

I’ve agonized over this painting long enough, so even though I believe it’s not “quite yet” done, I am calling it DONE! I can’t take it anymore! This painting is more like abandoned, rather than completed.

This is just a study, slightly larger than what I usually do these days (which are mostly little daily paintings of 8×10″ and smaller). While 12×16″ is far from large, it seems “big” to me!

So, back to “Quizzical,” the subject of today’s post.

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Blast from the past—Rapidographs!

“Jon Erik Hexum” ink on paper, approx, 9×12″. Drawn many years ago, using my trusty Rapidographs.

I loved Rapidographs at art school. I didn’t “get” pen and ink at first, always having worked in pencil when I was a teenager and before going to Otis. But they were really stressing ink in the Illustration classes, so I wanted to learn.

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A word about student paint

“Jorge – Zorn Palette” approx. 4×6″ oil on unstretched canvas. (From a canvas pad.) If loving Jorge Salinas is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

So… I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to do a review, or perhaps a treatise, on the subject of student-quality paints.

Lately I’ve had reason to shop at the North-American-based chain craft/art supply stores, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. I realized that for many people, these types of stores are their only access to art materials, at least hands-on. So, I thought I’d explore what it would be like for a new artist to try to select paints (oils or acrylics) from one of these stores, while also being budget-minded.

So I purchased some oil and acrylic sets from both stores (haven’t finished collecting my samples yet) with the intent of trying them out and reporting back what I experienced.

An overview of chain craft store brand paints.

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Cat in Silhouette & Pink Ribbon

Here are two “new” paintings that are actually old paintings that I finally decided to finish up and post online!

“Cat in Silhouette” 6×6″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to Malleni-Stock for the stock photo used as inspiration!

I liked this very simple cat portrait—just the silhouette, with a little light touching the sides of the body, and the tip of the tail. It’s that tip of the tail that really catches my eye. I fussed with this painting off and on, and finally decided that simple was best, put a fork in it, it is done!

“Pink Ribbon” 8×8″ oil on panel.

This second painting is a portrait of fellow artist Pavina. She sometimes models for our art / drawing groups, and during some of these modeling sessions I took a series of photos of her. This little oil sketch uses one of these photos.

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Rose of Iceland

“Rose of Iceland,” 8×10″ oil on panel.

I started this painting several months ago. I kept on picking at it and picking at it, then put it away. Finally I decided to finish it, once and for all!

Rose is a model for one of the local drawing groups I attend.

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Hot and Cold

“Hot and Cold,” 6×8″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to XNB Creative of DeviantArt for the stock photo used as inspiration!

Another exploration of cold and warm light playing on the face. I used a full-body stock photo as reference, and had to really zoooom in on the face, but there was a lot of fascinating information in the flesh tones! There’s also a bit of drama in the lighting as well. I found there were subtle pale blues in the highlighted side of the man’s face, and some warm burgundies and purples contained within the shadows. I left the collar and hair very loosely rendered, because I was most interested in the colors of the flesh.

It’s painted on Gessobord, a favorite “guilty pleasure” painting panel. I keep obsessively collecting Gessobord. It’s a hardboard panel with a wonderful, smooth eggshell-textured white coat of acrylic primer on top. I love this painting surface but try to control myself and don’t use it all the time!

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Just because I didn’t want to have NO posts in March!

It’s pitiful that I haven’t updated this blog in all of this month. So I’m trying to slip something in, right under the wire!

I haven’t done as much as I’d like, but still, I have done some painting. I just haven’t posted it. There are some commissions in the works (will post them later) and other stuff. I had some busy-work in other areas that kept me from posting to this blog as much as I’d like. I hope to correct that now!

Here’s a Work in Progress. It’s almost done, but still needs a few tweaks and corrections. It is not done—emphasis on NOT DONE!

8×8″ oil on canvas panel. Thanks to Reine-Haru for stock photo used as reference.

The thing that fascinated me about this portrait was the wonderful play of warm and cool on this woman’s face.

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