6.5x8 oil on linen

This is my contribution to Alice Thompson's first challenge on her new blog, "Calypso Moon Artist Movement." She has invited fine artists to do a self-portrait using only one color of their choice along with black and white.

I have been thinking about doing a self-portrait and decided this would be a good time to try since I haven't done one in years.

I had no problem in deciding what color to choose since I have been using the Zorn palette lately and have been fascinated by the rich browns I can get with just Cadmium red light and Ivory black. Also when Ivory black, which is a cool color, is mixed with Titanium white it looks blue next to the warm red. In this portrait I was pleasantly surprised that I could get nice flesh tones with the three colors minus Yellow Ochre that I had been using in the Zorn palette.

Thank you Alice for coming up with this wonderful creative challenge and inviting other artists to participate.

Gesture Portrait Study III

"Gesture Portrait Study"
7x10 oil on linen

I'm back to painting another gesture portrait from the Jeffery Watts DVD. I followed along as before but put more detail into the hat and clothes than Jeffery did in his demonstration. (He ends his demos switching to a palette knife, making flamboyant strokes with thick paint which is a little scary for me).

I used the Zorn palette again that I have fallen in love with. Check below in "Portrait Study II" about the colors and Anders Zorn. You can NOT mix mud with these four colors. It is a great way to study values and learn to draw with a brush according to Jeffery Watts.

I also must add that these gesture portraits are suppose to take only 30 minutes but I haven't come close to that. I do find painting this way does go a lot faster and I can do them in one sitting.

My Tribute to Karin Jurick

My Tribute to Karin Jurick
oil on canvas

A couple years ago Karin Jurick created Different Strokes from Different Folks blog. Every three weeks she challenged artists to paint, draw or sketch in their own way a photo she posted on her blog. Because of Karin's devotion to her blog and participating artists, she has helped connect artists from all over the world.

Jill Polsby, one of the 180 artists who participated in Karin's year-end Portrait Swap came up with a great idea. She asked fellow artist if they would like to paint a portrait of Karin as a way of thanking her for all her "wonderfully fun challenges." 118 artist accepted the offer and as a result, Jill printed all the portraits in book form to present to Karin as a gift.

You can see all the wonderful variations of Karin by fellow artists on Jill's photo page here. Be sure to stop by Jill's new blog where she has a link to Karin's You Tube montage of all 180 paintings in the 2009 Portrait Swap.

Gesture Portrait Study II

"Gesture Portrait Study II"
7x9 oil on canvas

In this portrait study I worked with a limited palette of Cadmium Red light, Yellow Ochre, Ivory black and Titanium white, which is also called the Zorn palette named after the late Anders Zorn. Click on his name to see a gallery of his amazing work and learn more about this celebrated painter and print-maker.

I have a lot more to learn using the Zorn palette but so far I am surprised how many colors I got from just four tubes of paint!
I realize now that I should have used more Yellow Ochre in the flesh tones.

I followed along with Jeffery Watt's demonstration using the same colors and subject he painted from and paused the DVD every so often to keep up. He shows a lot of color mixing on a glass palette with gray paper underneath. I tried the same thing and what a pleasure it is to mix oil paint on glass! Now I am sold on this kind of palette.

Update: Another thing I would like to share; I use a Masterson Sta-Wet Palette Seal that is a very durable 12 x 16 x 1-3/4 flexible plastic box with an airtight cover to keep my palette in. I was previously using a disposable paper palette that fits in the box. Now with glass cut the same size, it works out even better. I can also put the container in my freezer if I have unused paint. It will stay fresh for quite a few days.

Gesture Portrait Study

"Gesture Portrait Study"
7x10 oil on canvas

I did this portrait in less than two hours. Usually it takes me three days of struggling away with details and ending up with an over-worked painting.

A couple weeks ago I discovered a great 5-hour DVD by Jeffery R. Watts demonstrating Gesture Portraits and decided to give it a try. He does nine portraits each taking only a half hour. I of course am slower and had to put the DVD on pause every so often but so far I'm very impressed with his teaching method. There is also a lot of teaching on palette colors on four different levels.
So this is my first gesture portrait. I followed along doing the same portrait he did using Burnt Umber and Titanium White. The eyes are a bit off but I sure had fun painting them in a loose style! Whether I can do a gestures portrait without following along with a master remains to be seen.