Sunday, October 28, 2007

Final Cast

Today I finally finished up my cast drawing of the Nike. I have been fighting this annoying headcold for the entire weekend which made drawing anything much harder. Luckily this was the only homework this week since I am way behind on my freelance.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cast Drawing

This charcoal drawing of the Nike in the cast hall at school is a work in progress for my Cast Drawing class with Patrick Conners. I had hoped to get back today to work on it but I have been fighting a headcold which is slowing me down this weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pastel Figures

These two figures are drawings I did in Scott Noel's class in the last two weeks. Both are in pastel and done of Reeves BFK paper at 18 x 24 or maybe slightly larger, 22 x 30. These drawings were really a fight to get after the principles that Scott is going for and teaching in class; drawing form without drawing the value exactly as we see it, but in a more deliberate way to try and express the form more, almost like a statue, concentrating on plaanes, big changes in form. So you ignore things like local color etc. While I think I won some part of the battle I lost some too, so I am not that happy with them. But I can see an improvement. Hey, only 5000 more to go!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Male Figure Studies

I have been super busy as usual between school and freelance, but here are
some recent pieces from school, my weekly fruit or vegtable painting and
the last two figure paintings from the same class, Doug Martenson's Life
Painting. Man, time in these classes goes by so fast, after the crit and
set-up we have maybe 90 minutes it seems, maybe four 20 minute sessions
with the models...mix up the imprematura, block in the figure, then that
session is done, he comes back and we race to mash on some color.

I feel I get a bit better and faster every week, a bit looser, though I
feel frustrated as I am always rushing so much. However it's good
exercise. Next week we get to have 2 week poses which will be great.
the onion by far was the hardest of all the veggie paintings due to the
translucent quality of the skin. This was choosen by Doug because it's
very similar to the colors we get with human skin.

Monday, October 22, 2007


This week's home work was onions in a white on white. Man, these little babies were hard as there is really a translucent quality to the onion skin and all kinds of crazy, color combos.

The freelance is crazy right now on top of school work, and this is the mid-semester week, it seems like it is just flying by like crazy! I can feel Santa already getting ready with his dam sleigh!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Figure Painting Studies

These are three of the weekly figure paintings I have done in Doug Martenson's figure painting class, the same one where I do the fruit of the week homework. he introduces the color of the week, orange on blue, red on gree, etc in the class and we do a life painting using that color combo along with the limited palette.

We have about five 20 minute painting sessions during a class, after the weekly crit. I always fight the ever changing light conditions as by the time we get into painting the combination of the fast-changing fall light coupled with the fact the majority of the north light is blocked by the building across the street (the new school building). So the light goes from cool to warm, shadows change a great deal so there is some chasing involved and depending on the model, they either shake around and constsantly jerk, breaking the pose and the set-up between sessions chnages A LOT adding an extra challenge in.

I feel like I am indeed racing, not comfortable and the model Tom, my least favorite model because he doesn't hold the pose well, makes the sessions difficult at best. I always feel frustrated after these classes, though I am learning.

But nobody said painting is easy. The first two are oil on board and the last was on canvas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Great Pumpkins

This week's painting assignment, pumpkins. I'd still like to go back and
pick at this, but it's done for class at this point. I'll let it tak-up
and maybe hit it again.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday Figure

Here is the finished pastel from the pose I started last week. I think next week I'll either try a different angle or even try a painting. pstels are really a lot more tricky for me than charcoal and I'm still feeling my way along here. the crit from Noel helped a lot. I've also been looking at Prud'hon and Dega work as well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Drapery-Figure Study

Every Wednesday i have my favorite class at PAFA, my drawing class with Scott Noel. I have to say I learn more in his three hour class than all the other classes combined. Scott's a very energetic teacher and his enthusiasm is infectious, his knowledge and skill of drawing and painting...and more importantly his ability to communicate and teach it is fantastic. I don't use that word much and I am not easily impressed with anyone or anything, espcially with reguards to art and art schools.

This class is a challenge and fun at the same time so I alsways feel charged up when I leave and wish it was a six hour, not three hour class.

the last several weeks Scott has had us doing drawings where we would emphasize drawing the figure from the inside out, feeling the internal masses that will be reflected from large to smaller masses on the outside. he also sits and draws with the class doing a demo, so he draws what we draw and has us all gather around as he explains verbally and visually that weekd lesson. Some things can't be just explained verbally, they have to be shown visually, and this is actually also how I teach, so I feel very much in sink with Mr. Noel.

This week we started by drawing the model who was draped, then after the model took a break we then drew over the drawing we had done and drew the figure on top to draw home the idea that the draped figure inhabits real space under the drapery, supports it and the goal was to try and state the change of planes on the masses in a more analytical and lyrical sense, not a photographic sense. To use one of Scott's analogies " We can adjust our phrasing of something, since drawings are vessels of organization." Or as Rico Lebrun stated in his book on drawing, "The vessel is the structure; the interval, the span the physiognomy and the coutenenance".

It's easier to read than do as I am used to drawing what I see in a very value based way, so having to really alter that for what the drawing needs isn't so simple.These drawings are about form, not about rendering local color. The drawings are not "pretty" in the way we are used to trying to do in most life drawing classes. The underlying theory is to draw the figure well you have to draw it from the inside out.
I am progressing week to week and Scott has been very encouraging. I always take extra work for him to critique as well as books on favorite artists to discuss with him. This drawing is very large 30 x 24 on Reeves BFK paper in pastel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


This is my first woodcut from my intro to printmaking class with Dan Miller who is an amazing print maker. His woodcuts are just fantastic, sometimes these large, amazing 2-3 color editions of swirling lines, sometimes he lets the grain of the board act as part of the art itself.

This woodcut, my first is based on a picture of this old begger lady I saw on my trip to China last summer. I have another woodcut planned this time and have amuch better idea of the fidelity I can attain with the tools. This is a snap of one of my frist test prints, I did a final edition of four prints that are hanging to dry now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Here is the final eggplant painting, I'm so-so on it, I like parts and maybe it's just that I hate eating eggplant that gets to me?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


This is the first pass at this week's homework, a painting of an eggplant. Yellow-ochre imprematura and then a purple eggplant...

Once its dried a bit I'll go back in and finish it up. Oil on massonite 16 x 12.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

First Friday October

Last night Echo along with our friend Anna from PAFA did the First friday art loop in Philly. It was a dank night, so humid for this late in the year. It was cooler that the weatherman predicted, but some of the galleries were sweltering in the mass of fleshy gawkers.

We fortified ourselves witha scrumptious dinner first at San Kee Duck House on 9th, then hit the F.A.N. Gallery where they had a showing by Serge Zhukov (featured in this months American Art Collector Magazine)and I liked some of his work, sometimes his pencil drawings more than his paintings. I feel a drawing is more honest or can be more honest than a painting, with a painting you can employ a lot more tricks with the paint application and color to make up for weak drawing.

They still had some work hanging by Al Gury the head of painting at PAFA as well. Zhukov's work featured mostly dancers, so it's kind of like a modern dega crossed with the current trend of what I call "Blur out" painting. That seems to be something that is the rage with so many artists. You paint a figure, then take the palette knife or brush and start bluring parts out or the background into the figure. I saw 3-4 artists doing tis type of thing. Sometimes the figure would be nice, but then they'd ruin the painting by adding in these backgrounds and effects which seemed like they just didn't fit with the figures.

Sometimes this technique or approach really works great as the figure then becomes this transitional element between foreground and background. This type of painting might be best exlemplified by Alex Kanevsky.

Man, there are so many artists biting on this guy's stuff right now. I find it sort of sad as if you go all the way to do the hard work in and land a gallery, why not be yourself or at least don't make it so obvious you are cribbing the guys style so obviously. How many artists are bitting on the Skip Lipkie plank right now?

Anyway, we bumped into many fello students also doing the art loop and a fellow teacher from DCAD and his roomie, so we split and had a few beers. We bumped into the guys from Geekboy Press and I saw Boris Vallejo and his wife Julie bell outside of The Artists House gallery on 2nd street. By the time I got my camera to snap a pic they were gone. It was so weird to suddenly see this famous artist I know...I kept looking at this sort of distinguised spanish man's gface and thinking..."I know that guy...hey that's Boris!"

Anyway the night was fun, the art was so-so and the crowds are huge. We visited a brand new well stocked art store on Market that was really nice so we'll be back there for sure.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back View

Tonight was the weekly figure drawing session at PAFA. This week we started a new pose with a male model this time. After having my work from the last session critiqued by my teacher Scott Noel, and going to see his exhibition of work currently on display at the Community College of Philadelphia as well as doing a lot of studying of Dega and Proud Hon I really tried to concentrate more on masses and less on details which immediately start to grab my eye as well as becoming concious of the space the model inhabits. I look forward to next week when I can work on this pose again.

Slave 2

This my second pass at the Dying Slave by Michaelangelo. I have at least one more session with it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


This week's homework from Doug Martenson's class is bananas painted on a purple imprematura. I used a lot of palette knife and played down the drapery.