Friday, February 25, 2011

Denim Jacket

I seem to paint a lot of slightly androgynous faces, or tough looking girls. They're a little more interesting to me when browsing for reference pictures. You can see the reference for this one here.

Detail picture on Etsy.

This is the last one for a little while. I'm going to be driving halfway across the country in order to move to my new home in Colorado. New work should pop up here in the first half of March. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Okay, so I'm not sure if she's wearing brocade or embroidered satin. Regardless, a tip I remember reading about(I really need to write down these sources) suggested that when painting satin, you should reverse the color temperature of the light. For instance, if you look at her hair you'll see that the highlights are cool, almost sky colored in comparison to the rest of the hair. However, on the satin the highlights are warm in comparison to green reflecting mid tones. Sure enough, this is how it looks in the reference, at least to mine eye.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raven Feathers

There was some really cool light in the reference and I suspect some photoshop desaturation. I warmed up the shadows to compensate for the all the grey that I was painting on the lit parts of the face.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Head On

Took a break from the girl paintings for today. This piece was painted on a fairly bright green base that you can see peaking through at the bottom. I also sketched the drawing in green, which blended nicely around the edges of the head. You can see the reference here.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blue Sky

It's amazing what the brain does to understand the world it sees. I had a hard time figuring out how to make the sky as blue as it appeared in the reference. To make the very light sky more vibrant, I had to look closer. I found that where the figure met the sky there was an edge of deep blue. I used straight ultramarine blue to paint this edge and the fly-away hairs. I think I could have painted the sky pure white, and the brain would understand it as blue if I painted the sky's edge in a saturated blue. Similarly, I could paint a face in light grey, or even green, as long as the shadows or shadow edges were a saturated warm color.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chin Up

I had a bit of fun cutting the figure out of the background with some chunky strokes. Reference from Kxhara on deviantArt.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Black on White

There's something illustrative about a white background. It makes me think of Rockwell and Leyendecker. I'm pretty happy with this one. Reference here.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I've added Permanent Green to my palette. It has a whole lot more punch to it than the Sap Green I've been using. Reference from Kime-Stock on Deviant Art.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I had to paint this one for the lips and the expression. View the reference here.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mona Lisa

I stole a friends facebook picture for reference. There was something "Da Vinci" about her in the painting, hence the title.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Apologies for the lack of updates. I've been preparing to move, so "daily" is going to be a stretch until March. On the plus side, there's already more posts this year than last.

When I started these small paintings, I decided I preferred painting on the smooth masonite to the textured canvas board. I didn't like the buttered waffle texture that the canvas left. However, I'm starting to like working on canvas. Being able to obliterate the canvas texture with thick paint adds another dimension to the painting. I can also prepare smoother areas in advance of painting by thickly applying gesso or acrylic medium to the canvas and sanding it when it dries.

Reference photo here.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Over the Counter

I kept the brushes pretty big on this one. Most of it was done with a 1" flat brush. I loved the results of working with a larger brush. Reference here.

Detail picture on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wet and Cold

More wet hair. I left this one pretty messy, and didn't refine it too much. It's been a while since I used a white background, and I think it sets off the black nicely. Reference here.

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