Monday, February 21, 2011

Sights and Sounds
Mixed Media on Arches Cover Paper
11" x 35"
(matted and framed to 24" x 48")
$950.00 plus shipping
To purchase, please email

These five are members of The Swingin' Vermont Big Band.  We happened upon their outdoor performance on Church Steet in Burlington while visiting our daughter there last fall.  Since I took many photos that day, they have been the subject of several paintings.

Some people have been curious about my painting process, so I snapped a few photos along the way while painting this piece.  The photos were taken with just the light clipped to the top of my easel, so there's a bit of a glare, and the colors appear much warmer than the actual painting above.  Hopefully, you can see past those issues to my thought and painting process...

I keep a stash of paste paper I've made (a process for another post!) on hand so that I have a variety suitable in both color and design for whatever idea comes to mind.  I liked the long strokes of this piece and thought they'd work well in representing the flow of music from the instruments I was about to paint.  Above is generally my set laptop with my reference photo on the left, my limited palette of acrylics front and center, and my water and brushes to the right. After lightly penciling in my subjects, I blocked them in with a light wash.

I continued to build up layers of color, keeping them fairly thin to allow the texture of the paste paper to subtly work its way through.

I tend to work in applications of similar colors...first all the skin tones, then all the hair, then all the instruments etc..  That's partially a habit from my days illustrating, and also a necessity since the acrylics on my palette dry rather quickly.

With the faces pretty much complete, it was time to attack the technical aspects of those instruments. 

Next, it was on to the black neck straps and white shirts...which, of course, were not simply black and white!

I saved the sunglasses for the last detail to complete...kind of the icing on the cake for me! I really worked to let the paste paper act as reflective lenses in their glasses.  Fun!  Lastly, I added a touch of green in the background to give the painting some depth, and to 'pop' the musicians just a bit. 
And, there you have it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Piano Man
Mixed Media on Arches Cover Paper
8" x 8"
Last month I had the privilege of sitting in on a Salmon Falls River Friends of Music monthly jam session.  While I'm not musically inclined, I do love painting those who are, so I brought my camera along.  This painting is from a photo of Al Porsche, a most talented piano man.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mixed Media on Arches Cover Paper
8" x 8"
(matted to 12" x 12")
There was no striking light to work from in this photo, but I still couldn't resist giving it a try.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mixed Media on Arches Cover Paper
14" x 14"
(framed dimensions)
$110.00 plus $20.00 shipping
(see Purchasing Info on the sidebar)

I began painting this man's skin using some leftover paint I had mixed for my previous post. It wasn't long before I realized the paint's cool tone was all wrong for this piece.  I should know better than to let my frugal ways get the better of me at the easel.  Lesson learned.