Studio journal 2/26/17

I’m late posting this journal entry.  I actually posted a later version of the bottom painting, Girl in the Lavender Dress.  That painting plus the painting on the easel, Break, are both in the Playhouse Square series. Break is 40″ x 50.”

Winter rain

It’s unusual to get rain showers in February in NE Ohio.  Normally, the only precipitation we experience this time of year is snow–a lot of it.  But the warm weather, 70+, was accompanied by driving, slashing rain. My son urged me to test the low-light capabilities of my new Nikon D750 camera.  Have a look. This flashless photo…

New painting, underpainting

Today, I finished the underpainting for the new painting Girl in the Lavender Dress. I based the design on several photos taken around Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, so the painting is part of the Playhouse Square series.  Girl in the Lavender Dress, after my second session, is on the easel in this photo.  On the Square, another…

Studio journal 2/21/17

I’ve always approached painting as a process of carving away and revealing, the way I imagine a sculptor approaches sculpting.  Not modeling but carving.  I bring this up because this unfinished painting, Sub Rosa, is a pretty good example of my approach.   There are many ways to talk about painting, of course.  I used to talk about…

Studio journal 2/18/17

On the Square is 48″ x 60,” which is big for me.  On the Square is part of the Playhouse Square series.  I think the three figures in the center-rear sitting at a table are done.  It’s the only part of the painting that is finished.  I tend to work from back to front and,…

Review: Utrecht oils

It’s hard for me to understand this but until this week I never used Utrecht brand oils.  I’m not sure why this is.  I’ve visited their shops in NYC and Cleveland and ordered plenty of other things from them.  True, I was disappointed with the easel I bought from them, but that was recent and doesn’t explain…

Grumpy review: RGH website

I placed a paint order on RGH’s website, and the agile boys at RGH promptly shipped two 250 ml jars of Paynes gray to me.  Unfortunately, I’d ordered two 250 ml jars of flake white.  I probably haven’t used more than 40ml of Payne’s gray in the past five years. I checked the RGH website.  Sure…

Studio journal 2/12/17

I spent the day working on Picnic.  I’ve written before about how I stalled out on Picnic.  The issue was predominately the background figures.  I put them in; I took them out; I put them back in again. I use ultramarine violet a lot, it’s especially useful for cool grays.  I used ultramarine violet on the shirt of the guy at the…

Studio journal 2/5/17

 I’ve titled this new painting Down on Prospect Avenue.   The other day, I shared the painting after my first painting session with it.   I finished the under-painting on this canvas and started “over-painting.”  What’s the difference between under- and over-painting?   During under-painting, I treat the painting like a pen and ink drawing.  The lights…

Drawing transferred for new painting

I worked on the drawing/cartoon for Down on Prospect Avenue for a week.  In the top photo, I just finished tracing the cartoon, which you can see still stapled to the canvas.  I removed the transfer paper to examine the drawing.  If I miss something, I can cover the canvas with the cartoon and trace it…

Studio journal 1/29/17

Paintings take on a life of their own.  Sometimes that’s good; other times, not so good and I argue with the painting.  I am not arguing with Playhouse Square Visit but I am surprised at the direction it insists on taking me.  Not unhappy–just surprised. Yep, I am getting ready to stretch more canvases, as…

Dead brush

The poor old thing finally gave up the ghost.  I knocked the Pearl brand in my Brush Reference, but this old brush kept its usefulness for a long time.  The once mighty Pearl Paints has been gone for–what?–5 years. I placed the brush alone on the palette for this photo.  I was using it on the…

Studio journal 1/22/17

The cheery sunlight made me pause as I entered the studio and take this photo.  The easel has the painting Break on it.  Break is 40″ x 50.” Studio corner with some current work drying. Break is the painting in the lower-center.  Break is part of the Playhouse Square series.

Studio journal 1/18/16

Sub Rosa, the unfinished painting on the easel, is moving along.  The underpainting is nearly done.  The white-seeming ground visible throughout the painting is actually a middle-ish gray tone.  Compare it with your eyes to the dab of white in the middle of the palette. Sub Rosa is based on photos taken during last year’s Festival…

Review of Lukas 1862 oils

I wrote before about some of my experiences with Lukas 1862 oils.  I wanted some more time with the paints before completing my review.  With these recent sessions, I’ve had my fill of Lukas oils. Typical for me, I set up the palette on Friday morning (first photo) and used it over the next two…

Pastels on canvas

These two recent pastel drawings are on canvas. Primed canvas is an unusual support for pastels or charcoal because it’s not absorbent enough.  Pastel chalk falls off too easily.  I originally intended to use these canvases for paintings.  I had actually started painting on the larger of the two (the gray area in the lower left),…

Studio journal 1/14/17

I didn’t plan it, but yesterday I worked on two paintings of my son John.  I finished the larger painting on the easel, John Hudson and His Father.  It’s based on a photo of John when he was a wee lad.  The smaller painting, John in a White Shirt, is based on a recent photo.  After taking…

Studio journal 1/8/17

Here’s the studio corner with recently-worked paintings drying. The bottom-right painting, Sub Rosa, is still in the starting stages.  You can see the gray-tone ground throughout. 

Lukas 1862 oils test drive

I used some of the Lukas 1862 oils I wrote about before.   I’m still not ready to add the brand to my oil paint reference because I need more testing.  In their marketing material, Lukas emphasizes the ‘smooth, buttery’ quality of their paint.  Virtuality all low-end brands make this claim.   I can attest that…

Painting prep

It took all day to trace the cartoon onto the canvas for this painting.  The new painting, Sub Rosa, is 44″ x 60″ and has seven figures in it. After finishing the tracing, I lightly sprayed the surface with fixative.  I’ll start the painting tomorrow. I worked on the drawing for several days, as you might…

Studio journal 12/28/16

Euclid Avenue #1 took up my time today.  Euclid Avenue #1 is part of the Playhouse Square series.  Push-pull. I’ve disdained synthetic brushes in the past, but I finally found a model that behaves decently: Escoda Primera.  The Escoda Primera model, like all synthetics, is rugged.  It handles well for a synthetic; not as sensitive as a sable…