Monday, September 15, 2014

James - oil on canvas, 18x24 inches

Here is a recent commission of James, his motorcycle, and dog Buddy. It was a complex lighting situation to paint convincingly: James is almost entirely in the shade, with a lot of light reflecting from the chrome parts of his motorcycle; and Buddy is mostly in the sunlight, with direct light on some of his black fur. So it was quite a challenge to portray direct light, reflected light, and shadow variously illuminating parts of the subjects.

I'm pretty happy with the result and, more importantly, so was James.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mike - oil on panel, 14x11 inches

This is a painting of my stepdad, Mike, that my mother commissioned me to paint for his birthday. I worked from an older photo of him taken when he graduated from nursing school.

Mike's skin tones were painted almost entirely with burnt sienna, ivory black, and white. I used a touch of Venetian red in his mouth and cheekbones. Italian earth colors for his Italian complexion. Also some of Natural Pigments' Velazquez Medium for some of the really subtle value shifts, translucency, and impastos.

I had a terrible time photographing this painting and, as always, it looks better in person. There is something about the direction of the brushstrokes that gives his likeness much better in person.  It's painful when a photo eats your painting's je ne sais quois.