Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mountain man 2
30'x24" oil on canvas

Most of the scene was in the shade so I had to carefully control the subtle color temperatures and values. I was focusing on capturing this mountain man's relaxed posture and facial expression.

I just simple started even though the subject is very complicated.

I started it from the basic shape and simple values.

For the most important part, matching value of the figure' head and background was being colored.

Finishing the first session, the canvas and pallet were moisturised with water spray so I can keep the wet and wet technique next day. Earth colors such as umber dry very quickly, even overnight.

I added the small tree next the big tree trunk because the big tree and model's knee are at the same angle. Only the refined parts and completed objects were left for completion.

Winter Beauty of Santa Fe 5
20'x16" oil on canvas

Sky High,
30'x40" oil on canvas

Before I came to Santa Fe, I never knew Santa Fe has this beautiful aspen trees that I really loved.
Looking up the aspen trees that peek to the sky, I feel all of my worrisome and all kinds of burden on my shoulder would disappear right away.
This subject consisted of three parts, the sky, tree trunks and the leaves.
The aspen trees had bright white colors so I had to be careful to control the value to match with other planes. Particularly, when the white trunks are in the shade. Please look carefullly at each values.
It looks simple, but it was difficult to handle the values and temperatures.
Simple sketch of the basic oblects.
Look at the limited colors.
The tree branches are very complicated to paint. I reorganized them and used the technique of tree caligraphy.
Bull rider, Charley
16"x20' oil on canvas

This is the demo at Artisan Santa Fe.
The model, Charley Winter, is a Santa Fe native and bull rider, bronco and former college sculpture instructor.

Toning the canvas with raw umber and started working on the basic shape of the head.
Almost done with the value underpainting.
Completed the grey hair, lightest value and the background to make the head pop up.

Mountain man
Bill 30'x40' oil on canvas

I met Bill last summer at Golandrinas. He was so friendly, gentle and cooperative with me. I remember his wife, Alice Turtle, was so sweet. He was old, but very well built. As soon as I saw him, I made up mind to paint him and took several pictures of him at the location because we didn't set up a schedule for modeling. I really wished to hire him as my model but regrettably, I didn't get his contact number. He said he was living somewhere in Southern New Mexico three hours away from Santa Fe.

I sketched the subject on a pre-toned canvas.
In order to match the value for the background and the face, I just started to paint the background along the face and headband. The value was so clear that it took only a few brush strokes capture his likeness.
I was careful not to make his facial hair too white.
I used white, raw umber and celluian blue from the lightest value and darkest value.

  1. To paint the beaver furs, I used linseed oil for more smooth blending and a silky texture.
  2. I changed his grey cotton shirts to a ship skin color and texture to make it more natural and warmer. 
    The background color was also green. I refined the texture of the beaver fur and the drying rack.
  3. The original background was in an almost solid green color and there was no space for the sky, so I painted "holes" to reduce the portion of the trees and green leaves. Finally, I was able to take a breather.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The model, D Armond, is a Native American actor in several Native American related movies: Blood Red Earth, We Shall Remain and in non-fiction documentary films, and he studied International Affairs at Columbia MFA program and plays the Native American flute. I was lucky to meet him in Santa Fe. He is intelligent and holds great pride in his Native American heritage. Not only does he play the flute, he also likes to play contemporary music like classic rock, my music genre of choice. We play the guitar together at my studio when he passes by my studio and stops by.
This is a Ala Prima technique during a 3 hours for one session. I toned the white canvas with raw umber and underpainted and colored over it. Please take note of the reflected subtle color changes and value.

Worrior, D Armond demo
20'x16' oil on canvas