29 May 2008


watercolor & carbon pencil on Arches R 300gsm, 14" x 10".

a portrait image of lula. she had sprawled her arms more but i asked her to tuck her hands toward her body. the hair is a golden yellow base (quinacridone gold) tinted with phthalo green, perylene black, cadmium scarlet, sepia. it barely hangs together but was fun to try.

the warm colors are not tinted with blue, which gives more brightness to the blue accents (eyes, wall) and the single green accent, the foliage through the blinds. the blouse pattern was painted without an underdrawing, to make it delicate.

i have felt an unexpected positive interest toward this young woman, a "wish you well" feeling about her life.


wolff's carbon pencil on strathmore drawing, 14" x 10".

have been getting more into the problem of human figure proportions, the ideal schemes throughout history; writing a web page on figure painting; working with bridgeman's "constructive anatomy" to understand the anatomical fitting together.

kimberly always had a talent for amazing poses, and a feral head of magenta hair. i extended her legs as an experiment in proportions. it doesn't change the sexual dynamics of the pose, but makes them more exotic in caricature.


watercolor on Arches HP 300gsm, 14" x 10".

i wanted to use up a hot pressed block i don't like, started a painting of lula to try painting with more backruns and watermarks.

the paper turned out to be backrun resistant, and i got involved in the color problems of the image and frustrated that it wasn't turning out as i expected it would. so i kept working it.

the skin tones are reds and greens over a base yellow (raw sienna), faint tint of indanthrone blue for the shadow, in the actual painting the figure has a warm, honey tone. the couch slathered up and is iron oxide, perylene black and indanthrone blue. the pigment buildup contributes to the texture.

this is the kind of pose that comes straight out of the model; i forget if i asked her to adjust it in any way. her look is cool and bemused, the hands and whole figure are graceful, and the legs add a nice touch of modesty.

22 May 2008


watercolor on arches CP 600gsm, 41" x 21".
a slow couple of weeks; cleaning up files and docs from this spring's figure drawing campaign, landscaping around the studio, entertaining guests, and interviewing financial advisors. sorted through some pictures of april with her year old son and worked on a method of analyzing figures and portraits into harmonic intervals defined by a grid. so far the results have been promising.

spent several mornings editing and writing pages for handprint.com, in particular a page on color harmonies and another on figure painting. this led me back to the topic of a figure canon and the various proportional schemes that have been worked out since ancient times.

in this image of siena i subtly adjusted her figure proportions to correspond to a specific canon, not the classical one. i used a coarse charcoal to outline the figure and kept the light modeling very basic. i especially like how the flesh tones turned out; siena has a very pale but not sickly complexion, close to a warm granite.

08 May 2008

figure drawing group

male model this week; i didn't learn his name, the group had already started when i arrived at 7pm. was undisciplined in my drawing, not really trying for accuracy; then did some charcoal and watercolor on fabriano artistico rough, 12" x 18" blocks. i have maybe a dozen of these blocks and will use them up this way. (the middle drawing went to a private collection.)

06 May 2008


siena was back today after a long break. the day before i did another red dress watercolor to get in the mood for her. there is always something in the air with siena. got some good portrait and figure shots with her, including a series in the darkened bedroom with a vertical shaft of sunlight across her face and torso. did her hands and profile from life. "you drew me like i feel angry." "i sometimes feel you are angry."

05 May 2008


a new model this week, a painter recently arrived to sonoma county from portland. a gracious, relaxed young woman who wanted to model to experience the process from the other side. quirky, expressive demeanor, slim physique, elegant hands. got a lively series of portrait images and some serene and graceful figure poses with her. many good paintings in there. a thoughtful person and a pleasure to spend time with.