I am using a lot of the line I was thinking about – however it’s competing with my wanting to continue my old style with the soft shadows. I am still working on it – but remember to think about where you’re going: Are you wanting to make this soft? Or dynamic? Are you wanting to make her edges hard or soft? What is the tone or mood? Can you tell what it is supposed to be when you see it from afar?
Here is another one I’m working on. I’ve started adding white chalk to this one to bring out the shape of her face as it turns toward the light on the side. I find many of my reference photos from the stock section of (of all places) deviantart. There is a bunch of crap to wade through, but occasionally there are some awesome costumed or portrait references, and I’ve used many of them (with credit and sent the finals to the original model and photographer.) As long as you’re careful to credit, it’s a great resource since there are so many visions on deviantart. One of the underrated places to find inspiration 😀
I’m really liking the toned charcoal Strathmore 500 paper that I’m using on these, and will post them when they are finished. I will do a proper review as well.
You can buy it here from Amazon
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This is a large, 12″ by 18″ drawing on a beautiful toned blue paper that I got from Top’s Art Supplies here in Koreatown. I love the paper so much I wanted to have some for home and some for the studio, but I’ve left most of it at the studio for now. I have been trying to get my hands on every painting and drawing video or workshop I can lately, and after being thwarted (Joseph Todorovich’s workshop full, Ramon Hurtado’s taking a break from classes) I remembered how much I wanted to see Teresa Oaxaca’s drawing video. Teresa’s video from East Oaks Studio is fantastic, she is great at expressing her thought process during the whole video, even the little details. She has such an incredible sense of line and form, and her draughtsmanship is second to none in her style. Watching her draw was awesome!
Here are some fantastic takeaways I got from the video (that I haven’t necessarily applied to my work.)
- Use different types of lines to differentiate the background from the focal point. Ex, use controlled straight lines for your subject, and use large and wiggly lines for a background.
- Get your bases in within the first thirty minutes. Things we don’t always think about right away – how will the background affect the foreground, when we’re too focused putting details in the face or eyes. Getting the background and subject in means we can focus more on relating those two, instead of just getting stuck in one place and not being able to blend.
Over all, this video is well worth the investment. It’s like taking one day of a workshop, a full demo, no cuts or anything, and so much information you should take notes. Great film.
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Oil on Panel 8″x8″
Available at Flower Pepper Gallery
So this was an interesting small portrait I wanted to do because, as you may know, I am a Southwestern type, and I love Western Art. I grew up in Arizona, which had a huge influence on me as I was surrounded with traditional realism and fantasy combined. When the rest of the art world went modern, Western art stayed strong, depicting gorgeous images of desert landscapes, horses and cowboys, Native Americans, and so many other wonders of historical and modern times in the West.
Growing up, my home was full of artwork, from a detailed landscape with lightning, to some fun plein air paintings in the bathroom, and colorful coyotes in a bedroom, art has influenced my life forever. I stared at paintings for hours, picking out details I’d never seen before or simply wanted to appreciate one more time. I plan to enter more into the world of Western art, because it’s so much in my blood.
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Come check it out! Here are my five paintings for the show.
Flower Pepper Gallery
Summer Group Show
410 Bamboo Lane Los Angeles
June 23 through July 19th.
The creation of this painting was inspired by reference photos of my lovely model. I also had an idea that I wanted this cool theme, but wanted some major areas of contrast so her body wouldn’t be the focus of the painting. To do that I surrounded her black hair with a white “halo.” This adds the pop that lets you look at her face before you move to the rest of the painting. Lately, I have been considering my composition a lot in advance of painting.
This is the final painting, although the white balance on this photo is a bit on the warm side. The background is a dark, dark blue, which is enough to really come out with the strong contrast of golds and yellows I used in the background that are mirrored in her headpiece. She is wearing a rattlesnake tail with turquoise – reminiscent of her background of growing up in the Southwest, and her spirit animal, the Rattlesnake. She wears shells in her hair to show that she has traveled to the ocean, and moved a long way from the desert she first belonged to.
Also she’s hot.
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How to get your painting to show the focal point you want – or how to deal with competing focal points.
Here is a small, 6×6 painting of a couple roses:
In order to make the front rose into the focal point (actually, if you look at the back roses, they aren’t even roses, just some brush strokes!) I deliberately darkened and muted every single mixture I used for my back roses. The front is brighter, higher saturation, and more detailed, which is why your eye naturally sees it as the focal point. Always keep this in mind when you’re having trouble with a busy painting. I also have the entire process of this painting published on youtube at Los Angeles Academy of Art‘s feed:
These videos show the full, uncut process of how I mix my paints, and how I put them on the canvas in the most easy way possible. All done on my Edge Pro Gear Paintbook which I adore.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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This is a rather large painting for me, and I only had an hour to work on it. I was happy to be invited to my friend’s house for a still life painting session – only to find she had also invited some incredible, well known artists from China! What an awesome opportunity! Here is all I finished, I was on a time limit but next time I will have more time to work. I loved the antique, asymmetrical three legged bowl and the copper vase the most (as you can see, most of the work went there.)
The drawbacks of having so little time – I didn’t get a chance to move this into the style I wanted, I had to focus on putting as much information in as short amount of time as possible. There’s always next time!
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