Archive for the ‘oil painting’ Category

in the studio

September 28, 2013


I went to see the High Museum Exhibit in Atlanta that included Vermeer’s “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” last weekend and for the first time in forever, I wanted to paint in oils.  I took a phone photo of my son studying outside on our return home and am using it to paint.  I have never done a successful portrait of Taylor (I did do a watercolor of him sleeping at about age 4 but since the local art show rejected it I am not sure I can call it a success, although  I liked it enough to hang on my wall for several years) and I am hoping I will consider this one successful.  Truthfully, I am hoping I just finish it.

Taylor photo copy


First a charcoal sketch.

taylor 1 smallerDust off excess charcoal.taylor 2 smallerBegin with a grisaille underpainting using cadmium blue, raw sienna and flake white.  Cover the canvas fast!

taylor 3 smallerRefine.  Refine.  And refine some more.

taylor 4 smallerAmazed I remember!

Awww, the fresh smell of turpentine!  Wish me luck in remembering how to use color!



The Profile

July 15, 2009

When I was taking classes in portraiture,views  looking toward the model’s face were always the most desirable.  Why is it then that all my portraits seem to be of the profile?  Perhaps I am not assertive enough.

     This is a portion of a portrait of a class model done several years ago.



20″x30″     pastel on mi-teints paper


This is from an old black and white photograph again.  I like painting from old photos because then I only have to get the drawing right.  I can do any ol’ color I want and who will know the difference.


 Girl in Black Hat

8″x10″   oil on canvas

And one of my favorite artists, John Singer Sargent, did his most famous portrait of Madame X (considered scandalous when it was presented to the Salon in Paris).  The woman was Madame Gautreau.  She was “high society” and was influenced by her peers to hate this painting.  There is a great book called “Strapless: John Singer Sargent and The Fall of Madame X” by Deborah Davis that goes into this story.  It was perhaps the most enjoyable non-fiction book I have ever read.

There is a waitress at a restaurant we frequent who, surely, must be a direct descendant of  Madame X.  She has this exact profile.

I dared not try to copy the whole painting but I did attempt to copy her face. 


Madame X’s Profile

8×8  acrylic on canvas