Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Actor, Samson

28"x22" at the initial session.
I started to paint on the canvas I sketched before. It was like recycling.
At first, I was a little having a hard time because the dark lines was too strong to see if the painting was going well. The face became the road sign for further additions.

Actor, Samson

28"x22" on the second session.
After the second session, I checked the progress of the painting. The model's wide wrinkled belly kept bothering me so that I thought something was needed not to distract it from the focal point at the face and to create a better composition.

Actor, Samson

28"x22" oil on canvas.
Mr. Samson used to be an actor and starred in a movie, Venus in Furs, in 1969.
He is performing as a gladiator at bars or shows around in Brooklyn. I drew him at the art league a long time ago. I found him at a street in Brooklyn while I was walking my dog in the middle of the night.
He said he was going back home after performing at an art center in Brooklyn and was happy to do modeling for me at my studio. He said that artists who worked with him call him a rock because he never moved while posing and was like using a rock as a model. He did a very good job, but I noticed that he moved a bit while he was sitting. However, he is an excellent model. During the second session, I put the golden robe across the shoulder to the belly to cover his wrinkled belly and empty space. I was happy to work with him. I am going to finish this painting next Sunday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn Central Park

8"x10", canvas on board

I arrived at the park at around 3 o'clock, but light was disappearing because of the buildings and the trees. I rushed to paint the first for 2 hours and run down to the second one but the sun was setting and everything was in a dark shade. I have to leave home a little early that day.
Next week will be the last week to paint the beautiful autumn scenes of the park.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artist's wife 2 revised

I changed some of the pose of her hand and the shadow colors of the dress for a more natural look. I took advantage of the fact that the model is my wife so I can ask for extra session for completion.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Artist's wife 2

24"x30" oil on canvas.
The model who was supposed to come on Sunday didn't make it because he was sick this morning so I asked my wife again to pose for our group. She did a very good pose and was very patient even though the light was so low that her eyes were very tired during modeling.
The ghost light setting looks unique for painting. I enjoyed it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Artist's wife

22"x28" Oil on canvas.

I was not supposed to paint her today, but the model, Eva, was too late so that I cancelled the session with her and asked my wife, Helena, to do modeling. She knows how to pose very well.

I was happy to paint her and hold her hostage until I complete it.

Artist's wife

22"x28" Oil on canvas
I was not supposed to paint her today, but the model, Eva, was too late so I cancelled the session with her and I ask my wife, Helena, to model. I was going to complete the painting of Eva today. Helena knows well how to pose and I was happy to paint her.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eva, Broadway dancer

24"x30" Oil on canvas.


The model, Eva, was from Istanbul, Turkey and used to be a dancer at Broadway in Manhattan.
She knew how to make artistic poses. She was a good model for studying colors and shape.
I am going to finish this painting next session.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orla Island girl

The model, Orla, came from Northern Island and spoke with a British accent.
She didn't look like a typical New York city girl, her her face shows a hint of natural innocence.
Fontunely, she didn't put on any heavy make-up so I was able to see her natural skin tone very well.
The lighting was a little front angled so she put her face upwards. I was struggling a little to capture her likeness. I am not satisfied with this one, but I will try to do better next session.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

3 hour Alla Prima, Angel

The model, Angel, was dark skinned so I lowered the value down to one step for the medium light zone. The shadow areas were looking too dark so I exaggerated it with reflected colors from his red shirts and the green background. His facial structure was very clear. I enjoyed painting him.

3 hour Alaprima

Monday, September 6, 2010

Matt, 3 hour Alaprima

16"x24" Oil on canvas

Matt, underpainting

16"x24" Oil on canvas


Painting an oil portrait from life is always challenge to me. The model, Matt, is a prfessional model. He was measuring the time on his own, and kept his posture till the end. I tried to capture his strong facial expression with bold brush strokes.
I should have considered using more value contrast and color temperature over the light catching areas and the shade zone.


12"x16" Oil on panel

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The model, Shawna, used to be an actress in some movies.
She was taller than avarage Latino women and looked attractive. She a few Korean words and I was happy about that.
While painting, I was struggling a little to capture her skin tones and colors of her face because she put on heavy makeup. I am going to ask her to show me her natural beauty for art modeling next time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Artist, Larry

12"x16" Oil on board, Portrait demo.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Central park arch

12"x16" Oil on board.

I painted this one next to my artist friend, Larry, but I felt very tired while painting because I didn't get much sleep last night. I am trying to change my biorhythm to a normal level, but not easy.

If I didn't have an appointment with him, I might have been in bed that time.

I am sick being a night owl all my life, and I made up my mind to set my body clock to a more normal schedule.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Listen to my music

24"x30" Oil on canvas
One of the reasons I like New York is that I can see a lot of musicians in the street. I have a special affection toward them because not only do I love music, but also I might have ended up becoming a musician (guitarist, specifically) if I did not do art. In some way, art is the same as music. They both need natural born talent, tremendous practice and patience in order to master them for a lifetime. They are also pretty unsteady as job come by before you become a master artist or professional musician, and some of them even end up becoming starving artists. However the most important reason for being an artist is that there is nothing more valuable than art for them.
I usually finish a painting at one time, a la prima technique, but this painting was done in three sessions. I tried to express the lonely street musician playing for tips with his beautiful sound in the shade and park visitors who are not very interested in the music.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Listen to my music

I started by paint the musician and focal point in the painting. This part is the the key point for matching the values and scale of entire painting. I used standard value steps, from light to dark, high (glittering) light, lighter, medium light, dim light in the light catching area and deepest dark (terminator), dark shade, reflected light and cast shadow in the shadow area.
My painting approach is to use relatively simple value steps at the beginning stage and to control the color temperatures later.
Sometimes when I use a cotton canvas, I use leftover paints for priming. This canvas was so primed with dark grey colors and I had to control the right initial value.

Listen to my music 2

While painting the main subject, the black saxophone player in the foreground, I tried to control the shape value, scale and color intensity of the small figures in the middle ground and background at the same time.

Painting tiny figures in the landscape requires a good sense of anatomical proportion. I especially practiced drawing figures from life using small sketch book. I felt that it was easier do draw them than before.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Central park boats

12"x16" Oil on board.

The subject ended up being a little to complicated for a small painting. Value statement for the foreground, middle ground and background and color temperatures of the water plane were mainly considered while painting.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Central park horse carriage

12"x16" Oil on canvas board.

While painting, I took greater consideration in the color temperatures in the areas capturing light and the cool shade zone and the perspective from a distance. White subjects are good for applying refected lights and colors like this white horse.