Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good."
Cennino Cennini

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Thanks to Carol for the photos. Here are more images of the morning class and your outstanding drawings...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


 Some drawings from the afternoon class.  Carol took photos of the morning class and I'll post them when I get them.
 Jim Lyon, LJ Ward, Roger Lawrence, Tim Walker & Christy Bourque

Sharon Mantor helped me to realize that my syllabus for the course has been altered just slightly.  So, I'm going to post what I hope will be covered in the weeks that we have left.  You will not have missed anything, really, aside from being forced to paint a drapery study or a cast! Here we go...
FEBRUARY 27 - Continuing the mono-chromatic still life painting.

MARCH 6 - Finishing the mono-chromatic painting.
MARCH 13 - Starting color. Start and finish a color study.

Lemon - Color Study 

MARCH 20 - COLOR WASH - Begin a painting (in color) of the still life of which you've already made a mono-chromatic painting.  The beginning stage is called a Color Wash. The color wash is very much like the monochromatic painting you'll be doing - with paint thinned with Gamsol - very transparent and using color and value. (Using tracing paper, you'll transfer the line drawing you've been working on to a new panel. This way, you won't have to re-draw the still life. I'll show you how on Saturday - if you don't already know how).
MARCH 27 -  Complete the color wash.
APRIL 3 - FORM PAINTING - Begin the form painting process.  I'll demonstrate.
APRIL 10 - Continue form painting of your still life.
APRIL 17 - Begin Figure/Portrait Drawing. THE DREADED BLOCK-IN!
APRIL 24 - NO CLASS (this is the week of Festival of the Arts)
MAY 1 - Figure/Portrait Drawing. THE CONTOUR & TURNING FORM.
MAY 8 - Figure/Portrait Drawing. TURNING FORM. FINISH.

Not much time left! Time really goes by quickly.  I will try very hard to get you more studio time so that you can complete your still life paintings.  That time will have to be on a Sunday or on a week night when there is nothing else going on in the studio.  Also, the fruit MIGHT have to be replaced! Sorry!
I will offer another course - just don't know what the dates will be yet.  I will let you know!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Last week a student asked me to explain what "glazing" is.  I didn't give a very definitive answer for him, so I decided to do some research on the subject and I have since learned that glazing is a process of applying a thin, transparent layer of paint on top of an underpainting (monochromatic grisaille) or a painting (with color) that is dry. The layers are not to be physically mixed, but are optically mixed.  It is important to note that the paint color (out of the tube) should be transparent.  The transparent paint allows light to pass through to the layer beneath.  The transparent paint glaze appears luminous and bright, making colors look rich. For example, when I painted with watercolors I applied many, many layers of transparent paint starting with a bright white paper.  I applied these layers until I achieved the result I wanted, which was the illusion of form, light, color and value. (I painted with watercolor for about 18 years and never really knew that what I was doing was called "glazing".) By the way, most oil painters, from the advent of oil painting, practiced the process of first painting an underpainting, layers of color, and glazes. Johannes Vermeer used glazes when he painted many of his paintings.  Girl With The Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer, was painted using glazes.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
oil on canvas, inscribed top left corner: IVMeer (IVM in ligature)
17 1/2 x 15 3/8 in.  44.5 x 39 cm.)

The Hague, The Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis


Carol Hammontree, who is in the morning class took some pictures of the demo and the still life set ups last SaturdayI thought I'd post a few. If you see the still life you are working on and want the picture, just scroll your curser over to the photo, then click and drag it over to your desktop. This Saturday I'll do a short demo of the continuation of the grisaille and you will continue with yours. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Last Saturday we began the grisaille under-painting with a complete line drawing using vine charcoal on oil primed linen.  When you are satisfied with your drawing - which should be as complete as possible, with contours and shadow edges, you will "fix" your drawing with a lining brush and thinned oil paint.  I use a reddish, brown paint color because it is very easy to see.  When the fixed drawing is dry, wipe off the charcoal with a paper towel, chamois or kneaded eraser.  Now you have a beautiful "ghost" of a line drawing and you're ready to begin your monochromatic under-painting (grisaille).  Below is an example of a gray and brown grisaille by Andrea del Sarto and several of my vain attempts at a grisaille using black and white paint.  Also included is an example of a charcoal line drawing by Roger Lawrence, who is in the afternoon class. 

 Battesimo Della Gente, one of Andrea del Sarto's gray and brown grisaille frescoes in the Chiostro dello Scalzo, Florence (1511-26).

Morning class grisaille demo

Afternoon class grisaille demo

Roger Lawrence. Still Life Line Drawing

Monday, February 8, 2010


I was very impressed with the value poster studies you did in Saturday's classes. Your work was exceptional!  I'm posting a few of the studies you did - sorry, I don't have photos of all of the studies.  By the way, I welcome your comments on this blog.
 Mark Andrews

 Shireen Boddy

Carol Hammontree

 Roger Lawrence

Sharon Mantor

Marilyn Mason
Leilani Pounders
Tim Walker

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Grisaille:  A complete composition painted in shades of gray in order to establish the values from the lightest lights to the darkest darks.  The word is derived from the French word gris, meaning grayMaking a grisaille underpainting is very much like drawing with paint, showing the connection between drawing and painting and the values of color.  

Monochromatic Schemes Value and intensity variations (tints, shades and tones) derived from a single color.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I want to apologize if there is any confusion about the Master Drawing assignment.  Several of you have asked if they should print the picture they chose from the blog - the answer is no.  I have printed your choice and will bring it to you on Saturday.  There is no deadline for this assignment.  You may take as long as you like and you may do as many as you like.  This, like all the homework I've assigned is designed to help you in your understanding of the many concepts and ideas that we've talked about.  It is also meant to help you gain understanding as to the methods, mediums and papers the artists used.  You will learn so much by doing these.  Not to mention the studio work ethic and discipline you will acquire!  No worries!  Nor grades assigned!  You are working for yourself and learning for yourself!  
Best wishes!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


This Saturday (our 4th week), we'll begin a mono-chromatic painting of the cast or drapery study. We'll start the day with a value "poster study", which is a small painting using black and white paint.  We'll paint directly and quickly, carefully observing  the shapes of light and the shapes of shadows.  
Apple - Value Poster Study

Monday, February 1, 2010


Robert Henri wrote in is book, The Art Spirit, "Get up and walk back and judge your drawing. Put the drawing over near the model, or on the wall, return to your place and judge it. Take it out in the next room, or put it alongside something you know is good. If it is a painting, put it in a frame on the wall.  See how it looks. Judge it. Keep doing these things and you will have as you go along some idea of how you are doing."