"ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. "
L. Ron Hubbard

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blending with oils

Some of my students have difficulty with blending. here's a tip. For a smooth transition between two colors, both should be wet. Using a large (size 8 is good) bristle brush that is clean and dry, place 1/2 the brush on one color and 1/2 on the other and slowly stroke back and forth to get a smooth transition. You can blend into a dry color as well this way, but using this technique with wet into wet should provide the most satisfactory blend. If this is not clear enough, visit Bill Martin's explanation, which has pictures.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pouting Child

I am very pleased with this painting of a toddler done as a demo of portrait painting for my class. I thought I would share it with all of you. This is painted in oil on canvas, 20 x 16 (a good size for a headshot like this.)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Aerial Perspective  

dictionary.com gives the following definition:

a technique of rendering depth or distance in painting by modifying the tone or hue and distinctness of objects perceived as receding from the picture plane, esp. by reducing distinctive local colors and contrasts of light and dark to a uniform light bluish-gray color.
Also called atmospheric perspective.
Where I find a student having difficulty with a landscape painting, it's sometimes due to the use of photographic reference material. "Depth of Field" on the camera is often (if not always) the default setting and many of us use the "point and shoot" technique. The photo prints out "less interesting" than the original scene. 
If you squint your eyes way down and look into the distance, you will often see the effects of atmospheric perspective. The strong contrast and sharp edges in the foreground fade and grey (or blue) to  less distinct colors in the distance. Now, even if you don't particularly see this, you should try it in painting a landscape. For example, in this autumn painting, I emphasized the light blue of the background to "push" the distance into the picture plane. Of course, there are other depth cues in the painting, not least of which is the lane which dwindles to a point at the horizon.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Two paintings on display in the May Reston Community Center show

I have two of my paintings, "Monument Valley" and "Zefferelli's", on display in the annual student-teacher show at the Reston Community Center(RCC) this month.

Pictured here is "Monument Valley". You can see a larger version on my website.
And this is a painting of Zefferelli's restaurant in Herndon.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Who knows -- you may be the next picasso

New York Times reports: A painting that Picasso created in a single day in March 1932 became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction on Tuesday night.

“Christie’s employees took telephone bids during the eight-minute auction for “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” a 1932 Picasso.
In an overflowing salesroom at Christie’s, six bidders vied for “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” which depicts the artist’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, reclining naked. When the canvas last changed hands, in 1951, it sold for $19,800. But this time, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” brought $106.5 million.

Who knows. You could be the next high seller at Christie's. Old Pablo didn't necessarily know he would achieve such fame. He just kept putting it out. Create, create, create!