Footprints All Gone

5_22_14 Foot Print All Gone 6x8 oil

I found this photo of my oldest son, who is now all grown up, at the beach when he was two. What he is now as a young man and what he was as a toddler still amazes me. Even though this is not for sale I’m open for commissions.

Click here to View in my Daily Paintworks

Little Girl with White Ribbons Oil Portrait

Little Girl in White Ribbons Oil Portrait

I used mainly titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium red and cerulean blue. Create 3 piles – dark (red and blue), midtone (yellow and red) and light (white, yellow and red). Later I mixed blue and white, and white and yellow.

I followed a video by Arts Students League of a demo done by Mary Beth McKenzie. Mainly dry brushing initially.

I’m not totally happy…but I’ll continue to paint and paint. I’ll get there!

“The Little Girl in Red” Again

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I repainted the little girl in the red coat but this time with more focus on the face. But this time I used brighter colors – cad red, cad yellow and cerulean blue along with white and black. For some reason, using the more earthy colors of the Zorn palette does not inspired me.

I was aiming for more freedom of strokes and more careful placement of strokes.

Eureka Moment

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Painting Christy. Doesn’t look much like a successful painting but I finally got it about mixing colors!

Beginning with only the Zorn palette: white, black, yellow ochre, and transparent earth red. 2 value sketches: first, two values – light and dark and then 3 values.

I tried to introduced cad red and cerulean blue then cad yellow for the color of her dress and the rosiness of her cheeks. The painting got muddier and muddier. Practically starting over, I went back to the 4 initially colors. Then I realized with the mud pile, I can add more transparent red to make it red-gray, YO to make it more yellow. Before I had not been pushing the mixing of colors far enough. With adding more reds or yellows, I can till the 2 piles of colors to be either reddish or yellowish.

Little Girl in the Red Coat Painting

This photo was taken over 15 years ago. I was with my sons in SF Chinatown. They had this great little playground amidst the busy city with grandmothers babysitting their grandchildren. Charming outfits! I got a pic of twins as well as this little girl with the most reddest and most beautiful coat I’ve seen.

She became my inspiration for this little painting, 8″ x 10″. I hope to do a bigger one.

I started off with thumbnails. Normally I would had concentrated on the face but her coat is the main attraction so I ended up capturing her coat and face.

I began with a four color palette to establish values: titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre, and transparent oxide red.

Because she had a bright red coat, I added cadimum red.

Eventually, cerulean blue was added last to add more brightness to the painting.

I’m not quite sure I’m finished. I’ll take it to Michael for a critique. It will be interested to see what he has to say.

Painting of Brooklyn with a Limited Palette

Following Mikolon’s lesson, I restricted my palette and create a mudpile. My palette consist of white, yellow ochre, cad red and black. The colors were too tonal for me but I continued to work with it. I create two mudpiles, one dark tones and one lighter tones.


The results came out better than I expected with this limited palette. But I was itching to put in blue for her eyes. I would also use cad yellow instead of yellow ochre.

Conte Crayon Drawing Portrait

I was inspired by an youtube video (¬†to do this portrait drawing of Sydney. I had done a value study of her in oils so a drawing would had interested to see how far I had progress. In this video by Richard Morris, he begins with a line drawing of the features and even lines for the shadows. Then he “colored” in the values of the shadows. I thought this method is a “no-no” but the result in Richard Morris video is close to classical realism.¬†Everything that I had read and heard was to established values first and then come back to indicate the features. So here I did a line drawing of Sydney’s features as well as established the shadows. And then almost like coloring within the lines shade in the shadows.


Portrait Painting at 12th & S Studio

Lately I had been attending a life painting session at 12th & S Studio. These has been great sessions in that we can choose to drop in ($10) and paint or get instructions ($25). Michael Mikolon is the coordinator and studio owner. I first noticed his works at the Pence – fluid and masterly in both watercolor and oils. Then I met him at the Pence Gallery Garden Tour, one of the many artists painting on site.

My first lesson with Mikolon started with the very basic – value studies. First he had me do a pencil study of the model in three values – light, midtone and dark.

Next was to paint the model only using two colors – white and transparent red oxide. Eventually I could use three colors; white, transparent red oxide and black.

So, working at home, I used a photo of my grand niece, Sydney. Below is a rough I did of her.


I discoverd that doing a rough had helped tremendously. In fact I did 3 roughs of different compositions.

Next I painted using titanium white and raw umber (since I don’t have transparent red oxide.). Here I established the dark, midtone and light.


After a couple of hours, I got this far with it.


Here, Mikolon had suggested that I can then start into a full color palette. Doing this was enough for me…There’s so much to learn.