Monday, August 25, 2014

Fine Art Connoisseur on "Loved and Observced"

I was so excited to see my painting "I Will" featured on Fine Art Connoissuer's website in their article on the exhibition "Loved and Observed."  This was an exhibition of female artists curated by Manu Saluja and Diana Corvelle at Hersh Fine Art in Long Island, NY.  It was such an honor to be shown alongside so many other amazing female artists! Check out the whole article HERE.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Four Portrait Painting Workshops in BC!

I had a busy vacation this past month, teaching four portrait painting workshops in BC while I was there!  I started with a full palette workshop at the Okanagan School of the Arts in Penticton, then taught a limited palette workshop in Lake Country, followed by a full palette class at the Lake Country Art House and finished up with a full palette workshop in my hometown, Nelson, BC.  All of the workshops were a ton of fun and everyone did an amazing job!  Here are some photos from the workshops, as well as step by step shots of the demos I did in the classes.  We actually filmed a full three hour video of the demo I did at the Lake Country Art House, and I'm editing that together right now, so I'll post the video soon (*does anyone know if it's possible to post a three hour video on Youtube?  Most of the videos on Youtube are shorter... will I need to post it on Vimeo instead I wonder?  I'm learning as I go :-) Anyway, congratulations to all the participants of these workshops, you all did such wonderful paintings!

The demo I did in Lake Country with a limited palette

The demo I did in Nelson with a full palette

The Penticton demo using a full palette

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Unicorn in Ottawa Style Magazine

I was so pumped to see my painting, "The Unicorn," in the spring issue of Ottawa Citizen's Style magazine!  A huge thank you to Patrick Langston for this support of my work!  Ottawa has been so supportive of my work since the very beginning and I'm looking so forward to being there in November for my next solo exhibition at Cube Gallery, which opens on November 6th, 2014!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Featured in Hi Fructose

While I was traveling in BC I was overjoyed to discover my work featured in Hi Fructose! I love what Caro wrote about my work! Check out the full article HERE.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Article in International Artist Magazine

Here are some scans from the article I had in the April/May issue (#96) of International Artist Magazine, where I share a step-by-step tutorial on creating atmospheric effects in a complex composition.  Back issues of this issue can be ordered online HERE. It includes many other great tutorials by artists such as Richard Schmid and Daniel Maidman, as well as an in-depth interview by Christine Egnoski with faculty artists from the Portrait Society of America!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Demo Painting From Ottawa Workshop

I had a great time teaching a workshop at The Studio Cafe in Ottawa last month! It was a three day portrait painting workshop, working from a live model with a full palette. Below is the demo painting I did in the class as well as a few photos from the workshop. I'll be teaching several workshop in BC this summer.  There is still space in the one in Penticton and Nelson.  For more information check out the workshops page on my website.

Block in with Burnt Umber
My canvas is prepared with a mid-tone greenish grey ground, using white acrylic gesso tinted with a bit of acrylic Yellow Ochre and a little Mars Black. I let it dry thoroughly then sand it before beginning the underpainting. Using oily, viscous paint, thinned with linseed oil, I mark in the basic proportions first. Measuring the proportions to get the drawing accurate, I compare the width of the head to its height.  Then I mark in three equal proportions from the chin to the bottom of the nose; bottom of the nose to eyebrows; and eyebrows to forehead.  Because her head is tilted down, the top distance (from the top of the head to the hairline) is about an equal proportion to the thirds of the face. Next I block in the big forms and shadows in Burnt Umber. By “drawing with the shadows” I am able to establish the placement of the features quickly and accurately by judging the shapes and distances of the shadow patterns on her face.

Color Lay-In and Big Form Modeling
I begin laying in the color by establishing a basic color for the light side of the face.  I am leaving the “real” shadows (the cast shadow on the neck and the cast shadows under the eyebrows and nose), alone for now so that they don’t get mixed up with the lights.  I will go into them later. I tint the base color in the light side of the face as necessary, such as in the plane change where the forehead bends up towards the light.  Also, the light side of the face gets slightly darker and cooler as it moves down the face (away from the light) so I make sure my colors and tones reflect that change.  At the edges of the face it also gets darker and cooler.  This helps to establish the “big form modeling” of the head, rendering the head like an egg by darkening around the edges, and turning the form to give it dimension.

Describing the Smaller Forms
I complete the color lay-in by blocking in a basic color for each element of the painting.  For the shadow side of the face I tint the base flesh color with a mixture of Viridian Green and Cadmium Red Light to create rich shadow colors. I continue to establish the big form modeling, making sure that the hair reflects the egg shape of the head, and the head and body have a cylindrical nature. I paint the hair with a “Grainer” brush, which has some long hairs and some shorter ones. I lay in distinct brushstrokes in the hair and try not to mess with is.  This creates wonderful hair-like texture. Using a 1” synthetic bright brush, I block in a loose background, letting a bit of the under painting show through. I also suggest the sheer nature of the shirt in a painterly fashion.  Once the key elements are established, I define the smaller forms of the features, defining the planes of the cheekbones, none, chin, etc.

Final Rendering and Edges
At this stage I thin my paint with a bit more linseed oil as I continue to refine the features. Focusing on the description of the planes of each feature, I make some final refinements.  I also make the different textures (i.e. skin, hair, cloth), look like the material they’re made of.  Final highlights are added to areas such as the nose, forehead and hair. I also refine the edges, softening edges where the form turns as it meets the background, and sharpening areas that are bony, or where I would like to draw more attention. Edges are an area where an artist has a lot of artistic license.  The way edges are treated can really effect the mood of a painting. I like to contrast soft, “lost” edges (where you can’t really discern where one thing ends and another starts), with sharper edges.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Loved and Observed at Hersh Fine Art

I'm so excited that my painting "I Will," will be on display at the upcoming opening of "Loved and Observed, an exhibition of work by female artists that is co-curated by Manu Saluja and Diana Corvelle at Hersh Fine Art.  It runs June 21st to August 12th, with an opening reception on June 28th from 6 to 8pm.  Hersh Fine Art is located at 14A Glen Street in Glen Cove, NY. For more information, please email Steve Forster.

It's such an honor to show with so many artists I admire so much! The participating artists are: Elizabeth Adams-Jones, Erin Anderson, Juliette Aristides, Julie Elizabeth Brady, Aleah Chapin, Diana Corvelle, Michelle Doll, Alia El-Bermani, Alexandra Evans, Shauna Finn, Nanette Fluhr, Nanci France-Vaz, Kristy Gordon, Clarity Haynes, Leah Lopez, Gaetanne Lavoie, Lauren Amalia Redding, Kay Ruane, Manu Saluja, Holly Ann Scoggins, Rabecca Signori- ello, Emily Slapin and Maria Teicher. Hope to see you at the opening!

"I Will," oil on canvas, 30"x24"