On a summer evening, there are always a few figures strolling along the shore. My goal was to capture the feeling of solitude; walking head down alone in the cool of the evening. In my reference photo is was hard to tell the humans from the reflections.

Of all the places in the world I could be, if there’s a bathtub, you’ll find me in it. Here I was able to enjoy my two loves as once; applying lushes thick paint and lying in an enormous bathtub. The only really safe way to combine the two. I was stoked when the hugely different surfaces: skin, tile, towel and […]

One thing I’m guilty of doing is cropping in tight on the models. During the Figure in Landscape workshop, Ying Li stressed the importance of placing the figure into the space. Here is an exercise where I’ve attempted to pay as much attention to the space and background as I did to the figure.

Reclining female in red robe. I used this sketch as a reference for a painting but wasn’t able to capture the energy of the original. I did this sketch in Life Drawing class at the Mountain Art Center in Ben Lomond. The Art Center offers weekly classes.  No need to plan ahead, just drop-in and join in […]

The model on this night of Life Drawing, had wild hair; a mixture of dreadlocks and tiny braids. I hid her eyes behind her fringe of bangs and added dark a few dark gestural lines to capture the her free-spirited do.  

Standing one-minute poses are something you’ll do at the start of most Life Drawing sessions. These quick sketches are usually done on cheap newsprint with vine charcoal. Vine charcoal is made from willow vines that have been burned at high temperatures. One of the big advantages of charcoal is how easily it can be erased. In this sketch. If you look […]

Working in charcoal is a good way to study light and shadow. Notice the little highlight under the breast and how it helps create volume. The body is actually the light source, its bouncing light back up into the breast shadow. In this sketch I’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of figure drawing; thou shalt not crop the head. What would […]

A time saving device used in gesture drawings is blocking in the scull; using a flat plane for the face. Capturing the gaze is enough for a one-minute pose, anything more and you won’t get the whole body done. These quick studies help loosen up your arm and ground you in the art of seeing the whole image before moving […]

I wouldn’t mess with this chick would you?  Did this sketch while looking in a mirror. It was the initial step for an oils painting. Contrary to the look on my face, I really was enjoying myself! Artist often use themselves as a subject matter. The benefit of doing a self-portrait as apposed to a portrait of someone […]

After doing a dozen landscapes it was a treat to get back to my comfort zone, the figure. No model at hand, I used a mirror instead. In the early stages of a painting I decide what I’m going to try to accomplish, besides something pretty to look at. For this portrait I set about exploring warm […]

When you try to paint from a live model, you have to work fast. I painted this nude at Park Hall in Ben Lomond during an all-day figure drawing workshop put on by my friends at Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center, where we had three, twenty minute sessions with this pose. One of the techniques I’ve used that […]

Michael is a favorite model of mine. Too many of the male models think they need to be body builders, but those stiff body types don’t lean themselves to natural poses. If you are looking to hire a model, Michael is professional and very easy to work with. Shakespeare said “the eye is the window to the soul.” I disagree […]