Sunday, February 24, 2013

Homemade Donkey Easel

A donkey easel at the balcony of my gallery.
I made six of them for a couple of days by designing, measuring, cutting and screwing as well as sanding and varnishing with wood stain. It looks so simple, but a lot of labor was needed.
 I enjoyed making this a lot.
I am going to use the easels at my figure drawing class soon for the students sitting at the front row 
near the model stage.

I came up with an idea of the easels from the sit-up bench that I am using everyday to build up my six pack of abs.
Not six abs???
              Trying to ride on it, I feel like riding on a donkey back. Leo begged me to give him a ride.

I like woodworking. The garage of my house, my playground, is always filled with wood working tools and wood dust. The easels were made with two sizes of lumber, 2"x9" for top panel for sitting and 2"x3" for frames. The tools that I used were a compound miter saw, Kreg pocket hole jig,
 drill and etc.. The Kreg jig was very helpful to save time to make jonaries.
I will try to make my own plein air easel the next time. 
It'll be fun.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fall Aspen stream

Final image,  20"x40" oil on canvas

Reference photo I took in Aspen, Colorado last fall.
To make this photo image more dramatic and scenic, I changed the road into a stream and I edited the shapes, sizes and numbers of the trees for better composition.
Step 1
Just simple drawing for composition with almost geometric shapes.
Unlike figure or portrait subject, I don't usually do detail drawing on landscape in order to make enough rooms to change or correct the composition while I was painting.

Step 2
The canvas was a clear primed linen so that I needed to make initial  under-painting with the same manner as transparent watercolor wash. I made the key of values with dark green fine trees and bright sky, from darkest dark to lightest light.

Step 3
On landscape painting, I usually work on background images first. In this painting, the sky and distant mountain, where I made sure the overall value steps.

Step 4
Middle-ground was being completed. 

Step 5
Foreground plane was left to complete.

Completed in three sessions.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Portrait of Laura's family

Laura, a psychologist, visited my gallery with her husband last year to take part in the medical conference in Santa Fe and saw my paintings, Art in Art series and came up with the idea of a family portrait at the American museum of Natural history in New York, her favorite museum.
We discussed several things such as the location at the museum, what to wear, how to pose and time, etc,  for a beautiful family portrait and scheduled a photo shooting at the museum.
A few weeks later, I traveled to New York. We met at the museum before noon. The photo shooting was difficult because the museum was so crowded with people and the security guys kept warning them not to sit there and the light was not bright enough to get good shots and the baby kept moving. On top of that, people were passing in front of my camera. I swept a lot to take photos but I managed to get several good shots and made this successful portrait.
They are going to move to a beautiful new house soon and will hang this portrait.
Final, oil on canvas, 30"x40"
Stage 1,
Tonal drawing with raw umber on the primed canvas with earth toned gray colors.
I made a careful consideration about the composition, scale of the subjects and the background and each model's likeness and gestures.

Stage 2,
I initialized the bright and colorful background shined with morning light from the high windows of the museum.

Stage 3,
The skeleton of the dinosaur in front of the background was being completed. 

Stage 4,
I stepped forward to get their likeness with careful modeling.
The models were under the soft lighting and a little dark condition in front of the bright background.
I paid attention to match the values and temperatures and I really tried to capture the baby's innocent facial expression.
What a beautiful family!!
Not only their likeness, but I also tried to portrait each faces,
healthy and strong character of the man, Laura's beautiful, intelligent female face 
and really innocent adorable face of the little boy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Artist demo

Max, demonstration, oil on panel, 12"x16"

Stage 1, 
Underpainting with raw umber using Grisalle technique.

Stage 2,
I just started to paint the head, by paying attention to the artist's facial expression, an old master's look. In order to match the value of the background and the face, I put the background first.

Stage 3,
I corrected the anatomical composition because the head looked a little too big.

Stage 4,
I paid attention to the anatomical accuracy and edges where the light values of the face and the hands meet the background.

Final stage,
I made the background more spacious by adding light values near the head, the focal point.