Monday, January 21, 2019


It's a brand new year and a brand new set of opportunities!  I'm revved up to begin working on pieces for a number of shows coming up in the next few months.  As an artist, not only do I want to paint for show entries, I want to become a better more mature artist.  Knowing this, I want  to have a particular goal in mind for each artwork that I do.  It doesn't have to be a big one, just an improvement of one kind or another.  
Working in a variety of media, I want to have a consistent degree of competence in each one and when working on portraits I realized that I've painted in oils and pastels better than I have in acrylics.  Always wanting a challenge, I decided that the portraits I wanted to do for Roswell Fine Arts Alliance's Juried Show, People, Places and Thingamabobs, would be a great way to bring my acrylic painting up a notch.

Since, as artists, we are always curious about other artists' methods (and struggles) I thought I would share the process for this painting, entitled, Pensive. (You can see this one and the one below it in the show at 9100 Fouts Road.  The reception for People, Places and Thingamabobs is January 26 at 7:00p and is open to the public.  The show will run through March 18. (Gallery hours - Fridays (10 - 1) and Saturdays (10 - 4).

 After the initial block in above I realized the scarf was too large and the head not shaped correctly.  I made those adjustments, then blocked in the initial local colors and shadows.  I planned where to include lost and softened edges and how to incorporate the background color into the portrait.
 I gradually built up the flesh tones and made additional adjustments to the shape of the face. I filled in the necklace and continued to build up the color of the jewelry.
 At this point, I decided that I was ready to look carefully at each area and decide what was needed in terms of glazing.  I felt like the face needed more planes, the scarf needed more modeling and that the pendant on the necklace was distracting.  After adjusting the size of the nose, I added the final highlights and enhanced the background with multiple glazes using the dark  colors in the portrait.
Pensive  16 x 16 Acrylic on Canvas

Reverie  16 x 16 Acrylic on Canvas


Friday, December 14, 2018

Organized Chaos

NOTE:  Several of the photos are duplicated in this post.  I was unable to remove them.  They don't show up while creating the post, just when it's published.  Oops!
 The Space
Artists are often not noted for being the most organized people in the world, but taking the time to organize supplies in your work space is time well spent, especially, if like me, you have way more art supplies than you can ever possibly use.
When I was fortunate enough to add a large studio to our home, I thought I had tons of space.  Now, four years later, it is crammed to the gills with paintings, canvases and supplies for six different media.  If they weren’t fairly organized, I would never be able to find anything.
I’ll begin today with some tools and materials, and in a future post I’ll talk about organizing my finished works.

The Tools and Supplies

    Whenever I purchase any new supplies I immediately label them.  To keep my oil brushes separate from my acrylic brushes, I dip the ends of the oil brushes in red acrylic paint (dries fast) and put them in a container just for oil brushes.  I label the tops of all my mediums so they are easier to spot on a low shelf.  I keep all of my drawing materials in cups so that they are easier to see and reach.

  All of my paints are stored in drawers, labeled by color families.  Watercolors/ gouache in the small drawers and oils and acrylics in the larger ones.  If I run out of a color, I have a list on top to keep track of what I need to buy.

   I try to keep all similar materials together in one space if possible -- notice the pastels are ordered by hue and value.

    I work in Collage a lot so I keep my smaller, more special papers in boxes by color, and the supplies like pastes in the area where I work on the collages.  If you have a small space and no room to store them like this, it's still a good idea to keep your papers organized by hue first, then by value.  Saves lots of time looking for that perfect piece!

  Sometimes, no matter how organized you want to be, there are some things that defy order.  I store all those large random rolls of collage/ mixed media papers in baskets by a wall.

   One final wonderful way to organize all the weird, awkward "stuff" is with pegboards.  If you can possibly find a place for them, you can store almost anything with hooks and baskets or buckets.
WATCH FOR MORE IDEAS IN FUTURE POSTS.  DROP ME A COMMENT and let me know if this was helpful.