Sunday, December 27, 2009


This is the latest Commuter painting hot off, or actually still on the easel. This is based on several pics I snapped while riding into the city one day last summer. 16 x 20, oil on canvas.

I have my next painting on the easel tonight and ready to roll....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

West Philly Ride 2

Here is a painting I just completed yesterday, it was for a commission but the client wants something different. I based this off some pictures I snapped on my train ride through West Philly everyday on my way to school. It's on Belgian linen and 16 x 20.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jane's Garden

The DPC met today at Jane's house to paint and hang out. We decided to brave the cold and paint plein air despite the bitter weather.

The oil paint was setting up fast despite trying to thin it down and keep it loose and so I did this painting in two sessions, and eventually had to give up on it as I was loosing feeling in my fingers and feet and the light was dying fast, the sun hiding behind a thickening veil of clouds.

We'll try after the holidays to venture out again and brave the cold for more painting fun. 16 x 20 in oil

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Semesters End

It's been a while since I have had a chance to post an update here as the end of the semester was really busy for me between my classes at PAFA and the end of the semester crits at Uarts in the three sections of Storyboarding I teach. This semester was a dozzie, fully packed and it zipped past in a blur, but I feel I made some progress as a painter in the past 16 weeks. Once again i am thankful for my fellow DPC members, my gang of buddies at school who make it a much better, happier and funny experience. I am also thankful to my teachers especially Al and Renee who gave me some really useful help on my journey as an artist. Though i think there are some issues with the program at school, overall i still feel PAFA is the best school in the country to attend if you want to be a thinking figurative artist.

I also enjiyed the Animal Drawing class taught by Peter Van Dyke, and Peter played a little joke on the class on the last day by having a student dress up in a gorilla suit, you can see my drawing below.

The Dirty Palette Club also held our third Self Critique as a group after classes. I get a lot more out of these crits as opposed to the group crits I get in class and it's always great to see everyone's progress through the semester.

The DPC talking art.
A quick alla prima portrait I painted of my friend Alina for my portrait class.
Here is a bunch of my best work from this semester, it's good to line all of your work up and view it in one shot.

A quick mock plien air ( done inside) from the 11th floor at school, it was just too windy and cold to paint on the terrace at school.
I went back in and glazed color over this grisalle piece for my media & Methods class. it started as an oil doodle while on the phone.
This was where I left this painting in Renee Foulks's class, i could have used a few more sessions on it, but that's the breaks on class room paintings, you just never have the control of elements or the time you'd like.

Now I get to spend a few days getting ready for X-mas and then I'll put the painting smock on again and get back into the studio to finish a bunch of my commuter paintings over the break.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 15-Finals

This is my finals week at PAFA. I've had my finals in Life painting with Renee Foulks and my final class in 19th Century Art History, tomorrow my final crit in Animal Drawing and then my last class is Monday in Portrait painting.

The painting above is my final for Renee's class and it was painting in my living room, my friend Alina posed for it. I did it mostly from life, from the first pose which you can see below on the blog. Then I worked a bit from a photo and then Alina sat again for the final pose where I just concentrated on her head. There are many little areas I need to go back into, the sofa, the wall or light area and a few touches on the figure, but it was done to this stage for my class crit.

next week is crit week at Uarts in the Storyboard classes I teach, then is Winter Break till January--and boy can I use the break!

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Here are a bunch of pencil drawings I did for a GI Joe book earlier this year before the film came out.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Week 14

This is the final class painting in Al Gury's portrait class, it's basically done, I'll see if I want to tickle on it again next week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Commuters

This weekend I got to finish a painting and start two new ones, one of which is a commission. I finished up the painting of my buddy Ricardo Villagran and will submit that to the school wide student show tomorrow. I started a painting of my friend Alina, which I will work on for one of my final paintings is school for Al Gury's portrait class. the painting of Ric will also count for a painting toward my finals and that leaves me only one more portrait to do. I am honestly looking forward to the break now to paint as much as I can and get some more paintings done on my commuter series so I can start approaching galleries. I'd love to do nudes, but in Philly that would be a waste of time gallery wise. I feel like I am finally back into my groove painting, I felt I was out of sync for a spell there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Read a whole issue of Doll and Creature--for FREE!

A few years ago I worked on a really fun project called Doll and Creature with my buddies Rick Remender and John Heebink. They wrote and drew it and I inked it and I think it's one of the best, if maybe not the best inking job I have ever done. The book was originally a graphic novel that came out through Larry Young's company AT/Planet Lar, which Rick later got reprinted in color at Image as a 4-issue mini-series and then reprinted/collected as a graphic Novel.

Well now you can read one of teh entire issues online for FREE right here. I had a lot of fun on this series and hope that maybe someday we all can either revisit that dark zombie-like world of the future or work on another project again.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I skipped school today to work at home since the painting I had going in my portrait class was really close to being done, instead I worked on this portrait today of my buddy Ricardo, and since this is from a series of photos I took of him riding on the train, this will fit in with my Commuter series to boot!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week 12 Done!

With this week's classes coming to an end we have less than a month left of school now and I still have a lot of work to do, mostly paintings but also two papers to write. I am starting my final paintings for school this week for my outside assignments and working on a commission I have to do one of my urban/train paintings. the painting above is another pass on the portrait I have going in Al Gury's portrait class. the drawings below are from our last trip to the Natural History Museum to do some drawings of the live birds in their bird habitat. The parrot and cockatoo were really animated, I think the cockatoo was in love with me as he really put a show on whenever I got close to sketch him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 12 Progress

I slapped some color on this painting yesterday and today, I have a few more passes at it before the final crit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 12

One month of school is left as of today and I know these last four weeks will fly faster than the first four weeks. I have a bunch of paintings due in my painting classes and two more papers to write for my 19th Century Art class. The painting Above is my under painting for Renee's class which I worked on in a second sitting. Now tomorrow I'll take it into school and start the color on it. The under painting was done in Burnt Umber and titanium with just some terps to thin it down, it dried really quickly as a result and will be ready for me to load on the color. One of the paintings I have left to do was this more abstract pieces for Media & Methods class. I had to do this using an earth palette and I guess we are going to do something else with it in class.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Week 11 The Final Countdown Continues

Here are two more paintings underway in school, the one above is in the block-in process in Renee's class and the one below is a study in Al' Gury's portrait class. Both are in oil.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 11 The Final Countdown Continues

Well, this week certainly has flown by. Friday will be the 12 week in my Animal Drawing class and so that leaves me only 4 classes left there. The drawing below of Mr. Ed as I called him was finished up last Friday, i tried to work back in and even add more of the environment. the picture isn't the best I'll have to shoot a better one when I get the drawing home and set up the lights. The painting above was a quick in-class the other day as I sat in on Al's morning class at school, I grabbed a panel from the school art store and did this quick little study in a little over and hour plus. Oil, 9 x 12.
I did this painting today in media & methods class, Anthony had us do a quick I decided to whip out my iphone and grab one of the pics I snapped while riding the train into school. I dickered around with this a lot and tried to keep it fun and loose. I was looking a the huge Richard Diebenkorn we have in the school museum this afternoon. 18 x 24 in oil, next week we are supposed to glaze color into this...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Week 11 The Final Countdown Begins

The semester has turned the final corner with final crits basically a month away.This is what ened up on canvas the other day in Materials and Techniques class. The teacher Anthony didn't want me to do anything figurative, so I must have banged out at least 10 images that I ended up wiping out until only this ideas remained--basically because I wanted to leave class and not start over. This week we are supposed to paint over this as well as start yet another grisalle.
I was happy that my painting I did of the SEPTA commuters was accepted into the returning students show at school even though I am really pissed off about the SEPTA transit strike here in Philly. Now I have to drive in every day and fight the horrible traffic to go to school and to teach. Maybe I should do a painting of that!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Week 10

This is a quick burnt umber wash-in I did in portrait class yesterday afternoon, for a quick color study I'm doing before I do my larger picture. it's 9 x 12 on gesso board in oil.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Brandywine Paintout

Yesterday I ventured back to the Brandywine river Museum in Chadds Ford for the 4th time this year. but this time I didn't visit the mueum instead I went along with a group of friends from school to do some plein air painting next to the museum along the Brandywine river. After painting in the damp chilly weather we had a great dinner cooked by Jane in her beautiful home with her awesome dogs. A great start to the week and I think we just caught the very, very tail end of the fall colors.
Here you can see me posing with my paintings after my block-in, the final is in oil, 8 1/2 x 11.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 9

This week went by fast--hurling me through the 9th week of school like a shot.I fished up the painting in portrait class after 3 poses and then started another drawing of our horse model on Rives BFK in pastel.

The two sketches above are from Renee's class for our next pose, I'm going with the closer one which I will start on next week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 8 mid-term and Vincent Desiderio Workshop

This last week was mid-term at PAFA. I only had one crit, and that was in Renee's class but we learned to stretch canvas in Materials & Techniques class and drew a live horse in Animal Drawing--but the best was the two-day workshop given by Vincent Desiderio. Once again Vince came down and gave a two-day intensive workshop for about 30 students, a mix of undergrads like myself as well as MFA students.

I took his workshop last spring and it was one of the best experiences I had at the academy, and this one was just the cherry on top of that. Vince transfers not only his mastery of techniques to you but his energy, philosophy--(a lot of that) and his passion as an artist. In short, he's sort of like a dynamo that charges you up!
Like my other favorite teacher Scott Noel, Vincent gets you going from all sides.Above and below you can see my painting in progress.

Above: Vincent gets ready to do the demo. Alina likes what she sees...

The workshop was broken into two days, the first we would get the drawing done and shellacked and then try and get as much done as possible on the painting, finishing it on the second day. Like last time in the workshop we did a block-in drawing in ink first, and some of the students did their drawing in charcoal, which looking back on it I should have done. The ink is more difficult to work with and starts building the paper right away where the charcoal won't. So next time I will do this with charcoal first. next we shellacked the drawings and then Vincent gave us a demo using one of the students drawings to do his demo with. he loaded in the light masses of the figure, succumbing on the titanium white along with a little burnt umber, yellow ochre and a little black.

The group was split into two rooms and Vincent walked in and out and gave everyone crits as they worked, for a few he would stop and paint on their drawings to demo what he was talking about and to make sure you got what he was talking about. It's a mixture of observational drawing and painting along with some ala prima. You are trying to draw what you see but also invent or push the concepts, the form in light, turning away from the light, slow or fast.

I also got to have Vincent give me a private crit on my work which I took in. He liked my paintings and said the were very good but that I could activate the surface more, bring more texture into parts of the painting. So I will try that on the next big painting. it was a great weekend that seemed to go really fast and while I got to know Vincent a bit better and my admiration grew for him as an artist I think I grew to like him even more as a person.