November 24, 2013

Demo Drawing of Brittney

Charcoal on toned paper, 18 x 15 inches

I began this drawing as a demonstration for my portrait drawing class, then finished it later from a photograph. You can see me drawing the initial block-in below. I've also posted a photo of Brittney grinning. I wish I could have included her sunny grin in the drawing. But even Brittney, as good as she is at sitting still, simply couldn't sustain a grin during the entire demo.

November 23, 2013

"Two Hues of Green"

Oil on linen on panel, 6 x 6 inches

Daily Paintworks selected me to be this week's Spotlight Giveaway artist! Check out the interview where they asked some compelling questions. While you're there, you can enter to win the above painting, too!

October 26, 2013

"Brittney's Profile"

Oil on canvas panel, 15 x 12 inches

I painted this portrait using a limited palette of Yellow Ochre, Terra Rosa, Ivory Black and Titanium White. The canvas was toned a neutral gray and I used Burnt Umber for the block in.

As I've explained here before, these earthy versions of the primary colors are nearly the same as those used by Swedish painter Anders Leonard Zorn (1860-1920). But, instead of Terra Rosa, Zorn used Vermillion (or modern-day Cadmium Red). Other earthy reds like Venetian Red, English Red Light or Light Red Oxide work well, too.

Using this limited palette has its benefits. The muted color scheme creates color harmony and unity with no effort at all. It's also a good teaching tool, because beginning students can learn how to manipulate oil paint without the concern for exact color-matching. The subdued tones also help students recognize complimentary colors and strengthen their understanding of the color wheel.

I began this painting from life along with my portrait drawing class, then finished it from a photograph. You can see it in the beginning stages, along with a few students and our lovely model Brittney, in the photo posted below.

September 28, 2013

"Mud Pit Below"

Oil on linen on panel, 9 x 12 inches, $300

If you live in North Carolina, then you're familiar with Pilot Mountain, which is located near Andy Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy. In his TV show of the 1960s, the fictional town of "Mount Pilot" (obviously a composite of the two names) was mentioned in several episodes. Speaking of the Andy Griffith show, if you haven't seen my interview of actress Betty Lynn, who played Barney's girlfriend Thelma Lou on the show, check it out on YouTube.

I painted this view of Pilot Mountain from the Jomeokee Park campground. Each year they sponsor a Marine Mud Run and that's the finish line mud pit, below the mountain.

Here are a few photos of me and my plein air painting buddies at the campground. As you can see, I was protected from the sun under a picnic shelter. Inspirational views were everywhere! I'll have to visit again!

August 20, 2013

"Bocce Court View" SOLD

Oil on linen on panel, 10 x 8 inches

Earlier this summer a Triad Outdoor Painters (TOP) member invited us to do some painting on her property out in the country. The vast land around her home was beautifully landscaped (mostly by her husband) and yet, this rusty old water tower is what caught my eye. The slightly neglected bocce court was in her yard and harmonized nicely with the tower which was located across the street.

July 23, 2013

"Catawba at the Homestead"

Oil on canvas panel, 9 x 12 inches, $300

Last weekend I joined other Triad Outdoor Painters (TOP) members for some plein air painting at the historic Reynolds Homestead in Virginia. We were there to kick off a TOP exhibition which will be on display until August 23. I have six pieces in the exhibition. As a subject, that day, I chose this beautiful, old Southern Catawba tree. I just love the shape of it and the gnarled trunk!
Below are some photos taken that day. In the first one, I'm on the far left, beside a mailbox and hidden behind leaves of the tree I'm under. It was threatening rain the whole time we were there, so I wanted to be at least partially protected. It did finally rain towards the end, so the precaution paid off. In the other two photos you can see my view of the Homestead. TOP members were "staked out" throughout the site, though. About eight of us in all.

June 20, 2013

"Around the Corner"

Oil on canvas panel, 11 x 14 inches, $325

This painting started as a demo for my oil painting class. The red cloth is a curtain I found at a local thrift store. It's a really thick material and I love the way it drapes down and then wraps around the corner of the table. The folds are just so interesting to me - and were fun to paint.