Friday, August 28, 2009

Life Drawing: Oils! Final Class!

This was a fun class for me because I got to do a couple of demonstration paintings. Not many students showed up, sad to say since it was one of the best classes yet, but the small group made it much less of a chore. Nevertheless afterward I was very tired and had to lie down before my birthday dinner at Kalani!

We worked on a rather dark purplish gessoed paper in Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue, and Permalba White. The challenge was to raise the colors up to a full range of brilliance in spite of the limited palette. Most of the paintings remained in the dark range but especially after a little photoshop enhancement they look really fun!

Next Thursday we'll start on our month of portrait drawing, provided I don't have to go to Kaua'i to install the new painting/mural.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life Drawing in September: Portraiture

Here's a little flyer for next month's life drawing Thursday class. So often in drawing the figure, people zero in on the face and spend excessive time and energy rendering it. For various reasons this can make for a very wierd drawing. To honor this impulse and give the students a chance to work it out of their systems I decided a whole month of portraiture might be in order.

We'll tackle the structure of the skull, neck and shoulders, and work on creating convincing sculptural renditions of the forms in space. We'll look at the differences between sexes, body types and races, and skin colorations, and how to convey these artistically. Starting with charcoal and progressing through conte and monochromatic paint, we'll end the month with painted portraits.

I'm hoping to find multiple models for each Thursday afternoon. I'd like to work out an arrangement where the model gets to keep the portraits rather than expecting the normal monetary donations. Any volunteers?? Call me at 965-7642 or email me

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Princeville Update

I'm working to make this sketch resemble the original pareo design from my portfolio that inspired the designers at the Princeville St. Regis. I think it will be easier when I'm working at full size (8' x 9') but first I have to satisfy myself and the designers with this preliminary. Yes, I know the horizon line looks tilted. That's one of those things that pop out when you make the switch to a digital image. I experimented in photoshop placing some of my current and previous sketches into the actual wall niche.

(down below is the original pareo, as hung up in my studio)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Life Drawing in 3-color oils

I'm very proud of this class. Many of these folks had never worked in oils before. All these fine drawings are done on gessoed paper, which is a good learning material although it does take some labor to prepare. The colors were Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, and Alizarin Crimson. While not the hugest palette possible, these three colors do enable a lot of effects. Some of the students were struggling with the fumes, even though my studio couldn't be more wide open. I love Yumiko's unintentionally whimsical drawings. Richard of course brings the full blaze of his erotic intensity to bear. Didiet is making amazing progress, and so is Caroline Delano (in the picture). I had a chance to do a quick drawing in between making the rounds and snooping over shoulders, which is good because it reminds me how difficult the assignment is.

This is the latest sketch for the Hi'iaka and Lohi'au painting, hopefully for the Princeville St. Regis. (click on it to see it at a larger size)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Drawing in Oils: Monochrome

In this month's Quixotic attempt to teach oil painting in four quick lessons, the second Thursday class tackled rendering our beautiful model in a single color, burnt umber. The last drawing for the day was burnt umber plus white on a toned ground of gessoed kraft paper. This is really a big challenge but the students got through it with fairly good results, especially of course the talented teaching assistant Tuko Fujisaki.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big Work in Progress

The end of August is my deadline for this painting I'm doing for the Princeville St. Regis hotel. Naturally my friends are all very alarmed that I'm still in the sketch stage on the project, but the painting will just be in two colors and so the graphic design is the most important thing to accomplish. The designers were inspired by a pareo design I did way back in 1983 showing Hi'iaka and Lohi'au, the goddess and prince in the ancient Hawaiian legend. So even though I have shown dozens of sketches of varying complexities, they have consistently sent me back to the drawing board, wanting it to be in that original woodblocky style. It's been a real challenge!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Life Drawing in August: Oils and Acrylics

I thought that it would be fun to let the students try some juicier drawing techniques! Oils in particular have a bad rep as being difficult but, depending on how you use them, they can be as easy as a box of crayons. They are the ultimate in a moveable, changeable medium and they should help in the study of overall shape and background-foreground relationship (i.e. negative space!). Plus they are wonderful for capturing light effects.

I find acrylics a bit more challenging but they can yield wonderful rich results.

We'll use a very limited palette of colors, on recycled drawing papers. The emphasis will still be on observing, understanding and rendering the human form, with the tools, tricks, and perceptions entailed in the process.

more Bugsy

Now that Bugsy's gone I really like the sketches I did during our beach sketching expeditions. The photos are of when I first found him and he was a malnourished wreck. But still cute!

Note to self: Draw loved ones much more often, if not daily!