Monday, July 27, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait's my first ever attempt at an alla prima portrait. The model is one of my instructor's neighbors. He did a very nice job sitting for our class. I struggled with this...but, with David's help. this sort of looks like a human!! I am not a fan of the skin colors...but am learning so much!! Hopefully I'll be ready for my Putney, VT workshop with Michelle Dunaway in October!!

July 12, 2015 Class with David Tanner
Oh...I started taking a figure drawing & painting class with Tommy Van Auken last week. I learned a lot the first week...and have decided I want to do more figure drawing!! But, right now I have to get ready for tonight's painting class after a week's vacation!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A new pastel...

Yep...more fruit!! This pastel painting was done on a piece of U-Art paper...and an alcohol wash under painting!! I don't care for the smell of rubbing alcohol...but I do like the effect of the undepainting showing through. Still trying new things...but am definitely loving pastels!!


June 29th & July 6th...Still life painting...

Time to post a couple more paintings...I think I'm improving!! I especially like the daffodils from this week's oil class!!
July 6, 2015

June 29, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Catching up...

Traveling to New Orleans & Minnesota has put me a wee bit behind on making art...and here are some color studies I've done in my last three oil painting classes:

Hope to get some painting done at home this weekend...before next Monday's class!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 27th Class...

Here's what I worked on in class this week. The still life was great...but I just couldn't get the colors and shadows right!! Grrrrrrr! I may work on it some more...
But right now, I'm off to Atlanta for the Portrait Society of America annual conference!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I had the opportunity to watch a demo by Andre Lucero at For Art's Sake last this past Tuesday. He painted a still life set-up with sunflowers and a very interesting looking vase. So I shot a couple of pics and decided to paint the still life in my own studio...
I really focused on being loose...something seems a bit off! I think I'm stuck in mid-values! Will work on expanding my value range! I learned a lot...and I really had fun!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Here's a little (6" x 6") oil painting I just completed!

April 20, 2015 Class

Just a quick update...painting from life is really such an amazing experience! Here's just a piece of the still life from yesterday's class!

I learned...

  1. Painting while being seated is really challenging! But my foot is happier for it!
  2. White objects aren't really white!
  3. I need to paint at least 4 times a week (in addition to class time!) if I expect to progress!!
And there you have it! I really think I'm becoming more comfortable with the medium and materials...and seeing shapes!! Until next time!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Oil Class - April 13, 2014

A quick update on yesterday's oil painting class!

A new still life...

My goals for yesterday's class were to:
  1. Pay extra attention to cast shadows...especially values!
  2. Work on "visual blending."

Here's what I learned (and what I plan on working on this week and in next week's class):
  1. Composition (I wanted to get both top and side planes of the table/tablecloth! I wish I had paid closer attention to vertical placement of the vases...bringing them down an inch would've helped!!)
  2. Better use of appropriate values to "turn the form." The forms "reads" flat...especially the little white one! I do like how the table turned out, though!!
  3. Accuracy of drawing! The best use of color and values means very little when the drawing is inaccurate!! 
And that's it for now!! Back soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A new still life...

Still life color study from yesterday's class with instructor David Tanner. 

I've discovered several things in just 2 weeks of classes...
  1. Stepping back is essential. I didn't realize until last evening that the angle of top box is wrong. Unfortunately, because of the location of my easel in class, I wasn't really able to step back. Next time I'll position myself better.
  2. I have a desire to blend out my paint...and in this class, it's more about getting the colors and values right...and less about blending everything.
  3. I need not be afraid to make the darks DARK! I am really timid when it comes to the darker values. Exploring the full range of values is definitely something I'm going to work on!
  4. Standing for three full hours is really week I'm grabbing a stool to sit on for at least part of the class! shared with the class that there is a 5-page article about him in Plein Air magazine. Very impressive! Am definitely buying that issue!!

Until next time...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tomato omelette...

I set up a little still life...and then sent the afternoon "playing" with my oil paints!! This is result....

I rather like it...not bad for an early effort!! Best of all, I really enjoyed the process! Until next time....

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First "Alla Prima" painting...

Just wanted to share my experience at yesterday's painting class at Visarts Richmond! Instructor, David Tanner, set up this simple (and exceptionally colorful) still life...

Then we all proceeded to "draw" with paintbrushes and the try to "nail" the color...all in under 3 hours! Here's my exploration of the still life and color...definitely not fact, barely a second pass. Aacck!! (Still life photo was taken from a slightly different angle than my view while I was painting, accounting for the change in angles.) 

I wasn't quite sure what I was doing...but I sure enjoyed myself and learned so much! David is so patient and really knows color!! I spent a really long time with drawing and underpainting...which, unfortunately, left very, very little time to really explore the subtle colors and plane changes within each color. I'll be working on that before next week's class! And that's it for me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I've been busy...

...toning canvas panels in preparation for some color studies in oil!

...and putting together my brand new Mabef easel! Kind of tricky...and had to resort to watching a video on how to assemble! LOL! But I did it! I think it will be great for pastels...both in the studio and when it warms up and I can take my pastels outdoors!! (You can see the pastel painting I'm working on along with Alain Picard's "Painterly Portraits" video.)

And that's what I've been up to so far today. Once I get this portrait done, I'm going to start a new still life in pastels...using pastels w/alcohol as an underpainting (following Stephanie Birdsall's video)!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Alla Prima Oil Class

...just back from my first alla prima oil painting class with David Tanner...and I'm so excited!! I have only played around with alla prima (all at once; a.k.a. "direct") painting...but primarily I've been learning about glazing techniques inherent in the "indirect" painting method. David reviewed materials...and then moved right into his 3-hour demo, painting a fun and colorful still life set up. Here are some pics...
Today's "still life" set up

Block in & values

David reviewing his color palette

David adding some finishing touches before time's up!
The three hour class flew by! But I learned so much...and had such fun! I'm really looking forward to next week's class when we'll jump right in and do some painting!! The goal is to finish one painting/color study from life each week!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Just a quick post...with a couple of pics of my newly organized pastels! I purchased three Dakota Traveler large and two small. Here they are...all clean and organized!!

Terry Ludwig, Great American, & a few Diane Townsend in large box!
Girault, Holbein, and a some Nupastels in small box!

Plein Air Box...with Holbein and Sennelier soft pastels
And that's what I've been up to! Now to reorganize my studio so I can take best advantage of the light!! Until next time....

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Anse Marcel Painting - Update

Just a quick I continue practicing with all of my "delicious" new pastels! I'm still working on my painting of a favorite vacation spot for Gil and me...Anse Marcel, St. Martin, FWI. I'm using La Carte paper ground 12" x 15"...and a variety of hard & soft pastels...including Terry Ludwig, Unison, Sennelier, Girault, Holbein, and Nupastels and Richeson hard pastels.

I've been trying a number of techniques to avoid blending with my favorite is a technique used by Stephanie Birdsall (I've been watching videos on Artist Network TV!). Instead of using fingers or foam for blending, I've been using Holbein soft pastels and hard pastels on their sides to very, very lightly blend!

I'm looking forward to trying Stephanie's underpainting technique too...using Holbein soft pastels and an alcohol wash!! Have I mentioned how much I love working with pastels?! ☺️

Ok...that's it for now. But I'll be back soon with pics of my pastel collection! I'm in the process of organizing them into my three beautiful Dakota a Traveler cases!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Time for another update...

It's been a while since I've I thought I'd post an update of what I've been up to!! I'm doing a little oil painting...and have been working a bit with soft pastels! Here are some little paintings done using the Alla Prima method of oil painting...with floral still life set-ups in my painting class...

And a couple of pics of pastel paintings I'm currently working on ...
A "painterly" pastel painting in progress.
(I'm following Alain Picard's video "Painterly Portraits")

Pastel painting (in progress) of Anse Marcel, St. Martin, FWI
(From photo taken in Sept. 2014 when we were on vacation!)

So...until next time!