Friday, June 20, 2008

still life update

I'm basically done with this, I'm going to do a last run tonight to check for any things that need to be fixed, etc, but for the most part I think this is it. I'm pretty happy with this one, the transition from the brow to the eye socket could be better, but I'll tackle that in a future painting. I really liked painting the coins, they were super easy and the effect reads relatively well (they're nickels and pennies). In all, I think this is my best portfolio piece yet...hopefully that will change soon though :) Anyway, comments welcome

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

greuze again!...and some film studies

It's really no wonder Glenn mentioned him in class so often, Greuze could draw! I absolutely love his skillful handling of...well....everything! But especially the way his lines feel around the form, caressing the structure of the muscles and bones underneath. Christie, I don't know if I've sent them to you already, but I have a bunch of really high res drawings of his if you want me to send them your way!

I'm taking a break from the still life today, but I made some progress on the skull and brought other parts to a greater level of finish. Anyway, to avoid feeling lazy, I decided to copy this and see what I learned :) It turned out decent I think, it's much more accurate than the previous one. I loved how Greuze shows the skull very clearly in this drawing, so I decided to draw the skull separately just for kicks :)

Also, some film studies from The Birds and Nosferatu

Sunday, June 15, 2008

still life update

still working on this, not done by a long shot but made progress on that damnable skull :) Values are reading ok, structure will get there eventually, and hopefully i'll finish this while I'm still alive :) Sorry for the craptastic pics.

Edit: slightly better pics

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I was reading a pdf of notes on a lecture by Harvey Dunn (Dean Cornwell's teacher and a student of Howard Pyle) and he mentions that there is no place for fear in art. He also said that sometimes, the things that seem the hardest to paint come without great difficulty, because the attitude of humility one adopts in that situation is more conducive to good painting. So I went outside for a bit today and decided to tackle whatever looked interesting, not giving a damn if it was hard or I came upon this random corner of our house....I was intimidated by the pine tree and the bush/plant thing beneath it, there was so much to mix!

However, the gods of painting took pity on me and let me do a decent job here, with minimal fact, the hardest part was painting the damn pillar, because my hand wasn't cooperating on the whole straightness thing (which it's usually pretty good about). Anyway, I tried to work on my edges while painting the tree, but my darkest darks came out a bit too light because I painted in the shade again...must find new way of painting outdoors and not getting skin cancer :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


So, the Caravaggio copy is sitting tight right now, since I've been away and working on other things. I started a new still life right now, it's called "learning to paint" and the setup includes, my plastic skull, an old paint bucket, brushes, books, and coins on the same semi-reflective surface that the previous still life was placed on.

It's going ok, my placement is relatively accurate thus far, but I know it's going to take me awhile to accurately model the skull because I need to understand and express the planes as well as possible. Surprisingly, looking around vanitas still lifes and baroque/renaissance paintings, there are very few really good skulls to be seen. Most mangle the skull quite a bit, or fail to properly show how the forehead bone (supercilius?) fits into the structures at the top of the eye socket. The really good ones are by Pieter Claesz (always amazing) and Frans Hals.

Anyway, I can only work on the still life at night, so here's what I did during the day :) I think it went ok, but I got ahead of myself looking at the planes and made the sided plane too narrow in my lay-in. However, I learned a LOT about using line to emphasize the direction/fullness of form, and the bony structure. Anyway, this study didn't take that long, and I've been wanting to study Greuze more in-depth for ages so maybe I'll do more of these. BTW the hair does not even compare to the way Greuze handled it :)