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.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Central park boating

12"x16" Oil on canvas.

I was painting near the bridge last Saturday. The boatman was singing songs like gondola man in Venice. I took some pictures and painted from a photo at the studio.

It's always fun to paint figures within landscapes.

Central park pond

12"x16" Oil on canvas board.

The painting was a little too big and complex to finish on location at Central Park on Sunday.

This painting was refined and completed when I went back to my studio.

I was concerned about the color of yellow leaves and tempertures in order not to not make the painting look too flat.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Central park bridge

8"x10" Oil on canvas board.

It's always a challenge to paint architectural shapes on location.

The weather was great today and Central Park was full of people and dogs.

It was a beautiful day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yellow reflection

8"x10" Oil on canvas.

The yellow reflection of the boat intrigued me to paint this.

Red robe

16"x20" Oil on canvas.

This painting was done a few years ago for figurative demonstration at a local art club in Manhattan. The model was a religious person, and she asked me to paint it with a Christian feeling so I added a cross to the painting. I think it makes it look too illustrative.


24"x48" Oil on canvas.
Dunes are one of my best subjects for high key painting with warm and cool color tempertures.

When I looked at the painting, it reminds me of the time when I went to a picnic with my girlfriend.

Red boat

8"x10" oil on canvas board.

I was going to paint outside today, but the weather condition tied me to the studio.

So I painted from a photo. This photo of Oyster Bay, Long Island was taken last year.

I usually paint large paintings in the studio, but this is plein air size. The actual painting is very small.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Leo, Joy and my daughter, Genna

Since my children, Genna and Calvin, left us and went to college, our two puppies are filling our empty nest with their love and loyalty.
The small puppy, Joy, joined our family when Genna graduated high school.
Leo, the big boy, listens to me better than Calvin doe.

They beg me to go up to the rooftop every day before sunset. It's the best time to escape from my studio and enjoy the Manhattan sunset scenery.