Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tropical Fun in the Deep Freeze of OH

It is a tremendous bit of good fortune to be able to escape winter for a bit, to swim and play in the sun and paint all the beauty of a tropical place.  I took way way too many pictures but it's all reference for future paintings, right?  

Friday, I will share some of the fun in the sun in a mini Watercolor workshop at the YS Senior Center.  People will bring their paints and brushes (hopefully) and we'll make paintings of some sunrise/sunsets, flowers, shells, beach and water, etc.  I think it will be fun,

I tell myself I'm not comfortable demo-ing in front of people
and it's mostly because I sometimes freeze up while giving a speech, etc, but.....this will be ok.  I need to stop telling myself the story of being afraid.  It only leads to a dead end street/quiet back water.   I'm sure all will be well.

Wish me luck - maybe you'll be there : )

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Mermaid swum onto my WC paper...

I am minding the Village Artisans gallery today and it is way too quiet. So..bring out the paint and wc-doodle. I need to paint something related to 'family of animals' for the Art Council show...so...this little mermaid swam in with her friends.  Well...I always wanted to grow up to be a mermaid....

This painting is in the YSArts Council Member Show: “Family and Other Animals”
February 20 – March 15. 
 There is an opening on Friday, Feb 20 with awards, snacks, etc.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday cards on the road...

As we traveled the long trail back from family gathering for Thanksgiving, I created new designs for the upcoming Christmas season. I frequently bring WAY too much stuff to create with... so, this time, I was more selective. I simply brought my watercolors, card stock and pens. It's  quite fun to do simple sketches and embellishments. This is a small selection of my'roadwork' cards...

I'll be bringing the completed cards down to the shop - Village Artisans - in Yellow Springs so come pick your favorite!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Energy Medicine book Opening - this Sunday!

I worked with a lovely lady here in Yellow Springs to illustrate her book "Keep Movin' Your Energy for Body, Mind and Spirit" this past year about energy medicine.  It is published (!) and Pat is holding an Open House this Sunday, Oct. 19 at her home.  She says it will be a meet/greet/dance/drum/fun event.  If you'd like to join the fun, give me a call and I'll give you more info...

I CAN NOT WAIT to see the book!  Jane Baker, layout lady extrordinaire organized and produced the book.  Many locals are included in photos and 'how-tos'.

Here's the illustration that I did for the front cover.....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can a Caricature help with Portrait Painting?

I'd like to share a blog I subscribe to (Artist Daily) that had a wonderful essay about caricature drawing, etc.  I'm not promoting the site, just sharing it.   I sent this to Sue Brezine who helped Dora Lawson recruit artists for the Fairborn Art Association exhibit now up through September -  "Not your Pretty Portrait Show" .


Unexpected Approaches to Portrait Painting
ARTIST DAILY August 13,  2014
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Can a Caricature Help My Portrait Painting?

The Grimaces by Louis-Leopold Boilly, 1823, lithograph, 13 1/8
The Grimaces by Louis-Leopold Boilly, 1823,
lithograph, 13 1/8 x 10.


Awhile ago I was in the Met and saw "Infinite Jest," an exhibition of drawings and prints that explore satire and caricature from the Italian Renaissance to the present. I enjoyed the show, walking around and chuckling at several of the drawings, but nothing really spoke to me, and yet weeks later the images from the show are popping into my head as if I had seen them just this morning.

I've been puzzling over why that could be and came to the conclusion that even though caricature is a completely different category of portraiture, it uses the same strategies that can make fine art portrait painting and portrait drawings memorable.

At its most essential, a caricature is an exaggeration or distortion of a person's physical characteristics, but it is still a study of a person's physicality. We've all seen the boardwalk artists at the beach who draw quick caricature sketches in a handful of minutes. The artist gets the shape of the face and accentuates two or three physical features of the sitter and voila, a caricature.

Caricature of a Woman in a Large Hat by Enrico Caruso, 1920, 14
  Senator Dolph of Oregon by Thomas Nast, 1894, pencil drawing wi
Caricature of a Woman in a Large Hat
by Enrico Caruso,
1920, 14 x 20,
pencil drawing.
Senator Dolph of Oregon
by Thomas Nast,
1894, pencil drawing with ink,
13 1/2 x 10 1/4.


Although fine art portraiture takes longer to create, a portrait painter still uses the same approach. First, it is essential to get the shape of the head right. This is a crucial step because it determines how the head sits on the neck and leads into the torso, and how the features sit on the face. Think of how you are able to recognize a friend or acquaintance from across the street. The same rule applies for a portrait; the sitter will be recognized first from their big ol' noggin.

With a caricature, the artist will usually exaggerate a person's features�eyes, lips, chin, ears, or hair, even freckles or big eyelashes. It always varies, but usually the artist doesn't emphasize everything and only select one or two features for the biggest impact. Fine art portrait artists should work in the same way. Not in terms of exaggerating the size or proportion of a person's features, but drawing attention to certain aspects of a person with color, light and shadow, and strokes.

For me, looking at a model and first thinking of how I'd draw their caricature can really open up my mind to what I'd showcase in their portrait. And, just like the caricatures that stood out in my mind weeks after I'd seen them, a portrait that visually "heightens" certain aspects of a person's looks will certainly stand out from the crowd. For more on what goes into painting an excellent portrait and how to capture a person's likeness, Alain Picard's Successful Pastel Portraits Value Pack is a great all-in-one resource. Enjoy!


Online Editor, Artist Daily