Thursday, September 29, 2011

Part II Orchid Triptych: Cymbidium

In the triptych, the Phalaenopsis is the first painting, the Oncidium( not yet painted, is the middle one) and this one the Cymbidium is the third.  This morning I worked on the backgrounds in order prepare for the middle painting.  I think the flow of light, between the three will be good. This one has been a struggle since the initial drawing. But, at this point I am finally starting to be more comfortable with it.  As I said, some paintings seem to paint themselves and others make us ...problem solve.  This is how we learn.  We learn not from the easy ones, but from the ones that we are tempted to throw away.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Part I Orchid Triptych: Phalaenopsis Finished

There are paintings that seem to paint themselves and others that I fight my way through.  Smile, this one basically painted itself.  I know that it was on the drawing board for a long time, but that was more the result of life's interruptions than technical problems.  I enjoyed this one.  I know there will be some adjustments to the background when I finish the next two paintings.  But just for this moment, all is well. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011


A challenge is a great way to learn, to stay fresh, and most importantly to play.  This painting was done for an on line challenge to paint with anything other than your favorite brush.  I choose to make my own brush. Twig, tape and hair from my very hairy canine companion, "Amistad". But, there is a second challenge involved in this process and that is direct painting.  That means no pencil and NO eraser. Dip brush in paint and simply paint.  I find the best way to accomplish this is to paint the negative shapes while being aware of their distance and relationship to one another.  In other words, forget that this is a face, but think of it as a series of interrelated shapes. Finally, go back and readjust adjust the values. While I am painting, I am always thinking about the lightness and darkness of things, but I usually need to go back and darken some areas.  The source of the brush hair is pictured below.  He was happy to make the donation in order to get his picture in my blog.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pencil Portrait of a Young Man

I have been learning to draw my entire life.  From my very first formal class at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at age13, I have been involved in this wonderful, magic adventure.  There is so much to be said about LINE.
There is its movement, its energy, its intensity, its beginnings and its endings, its lightness and its darkness, and even its absence.  John Sloan said "Line is the most powerful device of drawing."  Paul Klee said "A Line is a dot that went for a walk."  And what a walk it can take in our drawings.  It can convey sensitivity and boldness, tranquility and energy, trepidation and confidence.  When we practice drawing we are trying to make the line have life and thus, the drawing have life as well. The adventure can be unending....pick up your pencil and give it a try!

This small sketch was done in about 1 1/2 hour for a Weekend Drawing Event.