Belle Isle tree picnic table

The perils of plein air: Light is fickle. 

Out again, trying to get used to my new plein air setup. Belle Isle was packed, so I headed to the lesser- visited side of the island. Something about this tree, with its patchwork bark, and the picnic table, completely neglected and overgrown, spoke to me. Started plein air, but unfortunately, the light abandoned me after about 35 minutes. Finished in my studio.

“Overgrown Picnic Table,” 12×9, oil on panel.

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Inspiration. Everything for figure painting.

IMG_6592Who knows why some people inspire us to paint well and others don’t? The longer I paint, the more I suspect that it is a combination of a great pose and also my own personal level of intrigue with the model. I painted two paintings on this day. In the morning, I didn’t paint well at all, but in the afternoon … like a happy pill, the antidote appeared. One of my all-time favorite models was booked for the afternoon session. I find her super intelligent; a great combination of smart, thoughtful and nice. Big plus? She holds really still. And then this painting happened without much struggle. Pleased with it overall, but might do a couple tweaks; haven’t decided yet. Alas, no camera ever makes a painting look nearly as good as it does in real life, and Photoshop is woefully inadequate for helping. The contrast is always too much, no matter how you fiddle with it. The human eye is so much better than a camera. 18×14, oil on canvas. Can’t wait until she comes back!

WIP. Value challenge. 

img_4705-2Struggled with this session. Model’s skin, her dress, and the cover on her chair were all similar tones and values. Plus she was sick and kept saying she might hurl, which was distracting to the big sister side of me, as I ran round trying to get her mints, Coke and a bucket in case she lost her cookies. Other challenges:  room was hotter than hell and glare on my palette made it hard to tell what I was mixing. The beauty of painting live, I guess. First world problems. Still, one of my favorite models and the painting does look better than the photo was able to capture. This model reminds me of Ophelia, an idea which I tried to incorporate into the painting conceptually. Looking forward to refining this study further. 11×14, oil on linen. Painted at the Scarab Club of Detroit. 2 hours. 

Back to painting. Finally. 

Forced to take a couple months off due to that all-encompassing life drain known as moving. I’m a bit rusty, but happy to be getting back to what matters: painting. Great pose yesterday but difficult because lighting sources were not well controlled and she was lit all over. Still, there are things about it I like. 12×16, oil on linen. 

Figurative painting, June 25, 2016

12 x 12, oil on canvas. 12 x 9, oil on linen. 2.5 hours each. Rather happy with the costumed portrait of the man. I’ve painted him a few times now, and he does great poses. The nude is coming along, but I couldn’t quite finish it. Amazing model. My first time painting her, and I always struggle the first time I paint someone. It’s as if my brain retains their features and proportions more and more, every time I paint them. So, WIP. This is the journey, as honestly depicted as I can do it. I’ve not had as much time lately to paint due to other pressing life issues, so maybe I’m a little rusty.