Sunday, November 11, 2007


Let me say that I am not a linear person. I realize that all tonal painting is done the same way, but things like straight angles of roofs and such raise my blood pressure! Of the 3 paintings this weekend this was my least favorite both to do, and finished, but I did learn a lot. Especially that I hate mixing greens!

I think this photo has less glare since the paint isn't wet. I was a little annoyed - turns out a class did come in after us (a lot of us had left our stuff in the room) and they basically threw our paintings around. This one was dropped on a corner, and apparently landed face down, as there was debris on it this morning. I was able to clean it off, but there's a nice thumb print on it!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Still Life Day...

I don't know why I find doing still lifes to be the most mentally tiring... I didn't have my own picture, so I looked at this lady's to the front/side, and also Dominic's in front. It was actually good to have the photo farther away so I saw less detail. I will have to tape pictures to the window in my studio from now on!

Friday, November 9, 2007

So excited! Another Vignola workshop...

Day one of 3 days of Dominic Vignola workshops, at Art of the Carolinas here in Raleigh. Today we did portraits (my favorite!), and I was pretty pleased with mine. I hope to have a little time on Sunday to touch it up, after the paint is a little more dry, but overall, as Dominic said, the subject's friends would recognize him, and that's a good thing!

BTW, after some requests, I figured out how to load "large" pictures. I apparently had a default of "medium" so they couldn't be clicked on and enlarged. So if you it is!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Who he is...

My wonderful lifelong friend Roger sent this poem after seeing the new drawing.

Abou ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem, may his great tribe increase,
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
And making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold.

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And so, to the presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The angel wrote and vanished. The next night
It came again with great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

James Leigh Hunt

Better late than never!

Last week was crazy, and then we went out of town for a long weekend. I had every intention of finishing this while there - and I even brought another one to start - but I just needed to veg out. Which I did in stunning fashion! But here is "Turbaned Man". I like him!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Emerging from the paper...

I am drawing the same man. I will work on the painting later in the week, I think, and I don't love the warm grays, but it's been good. I like the drawing so far, but can only go about an hour at a time. When I realize I'm doing big lines or swoops to shade, it's time to quit for awhile! This is 2 hours in.

Monday, July 30, 2007

African man/woman...?!

My husband and I are having a debate about the gender of this person. I have had the photo for awhile, and always thought it was a man. He instantly thought it was a woman... So please vote! I am still having trouble getting the photos I'd like. I think I need to get a piece of plywood or other stiff board painted a neutral color so I can take the paintings outside for the natural light but not get reflections from the white.

Anyway, he/she is done! This was done with just the 5 warm grays, no mixing. I only used white at the very end, on the head wrap.

An oldie but a goodie...

I did this pencil drawing 20 years ago, one of the very last things I did before my premature retirement! We call him "the Man." It's always interesting to hear who people think it is - a surprising number have asked me if were God (, or Moses. But you can see the reason I love tonal's how I drew! This is done with an ebony pencil, kneaded eraser and drawing paper.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

More time in a week!

I haven't been able to spend any more time on the painting I started this week. I went to the coast to pick my son up from camp, and wasn't planning to come back until today, but he wanted to come home, so I now have a "found" day. So I shall post if I do, indeed, get some work done!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Work in Progress...

I started this last night. It's just, as Dominic would say, in stage 1. I've got the basics laid in, and I'm going to take advantage of not having to finish in one day to let the oils dry a bit before going in and making the darks darker, etc. I did it upside down for about an hour, then right side up for another 20 min to fix the placement of the right eye and lips. I'm using just the warm greys of the palette, even for the parts of the photo that are in color. They are very different than the cool grays which I used for the "Joseph" portrait.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Upside down painting...

I did both the portraits in the workshop 90% upside down. I think I got a much better likeness that way... the people who did it the "right" way tended to put things in the painting that weren't in the photo, like eyebrows on the woman. Interesting, no?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Final day of painting at Dominic Vignola's workshop

What a humbling day... This painting was REALLY HARD. The good news was that everyone in the class struggled with it. Some people left even after 6 hours with no face. It was exhausting! But I figure that I came away with 4 paintings, and I like 3 of them very much, so that's ok! It really was a great workshop.

Again, mine is the one in the foreground. The flash really washed everything out when taken head-on. I think it's cartoony looking... but for my first color portrait ever, I guess it's OK!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Painting workshop

I am having THE BEST TIME at this workshop!!! I wish someone had taught me this years ago - I would have been so happy! I don't have any good pictures yet. My flash really washed out the stuff I took in the class, and I haven't had time to work with it since getting home today (and the oils are still wet!). But here's the first shot out of the box, and I'll post some better views as I get them. Suffice it to say that I think Dominic Vignola is AWESOME!
This is the photo and the painting, from Velasquez's "Joseph's Bloody Coat".
Landscape (my first ever). This picture isn't that great...
Here's the class. My painting is the one in the foreground. There are about 16 of us in the class, and everyone is doing a great job!