Here comes the third (but not necessarily the last) in my tennis series.
This painting will depict Marcos Baghdatis in a brilliant orange shirt against a dark green background (and Rolex logo).
The canvas is an enormous 36×48″, so wherever this piece winds up, it’s sure to make a statement. Working at this size presents challenges and freedoms. It allows me to get into the details of a subject like the face in a way I was unable to with my (much) smaller portraits of the past. The flip side of that is in the more posterized style I’ve been using lately, a canvas this large threatens to have some vast, underused spaces.
I’m sure I’ll come up with solution…
Keep checking back!
A quick study of a perennially popular subject. Cows are fun to recreate, and this lady had the added bonus of a wild hairdo (no doubt it also serves the purpose of keeping her warm during the Oklahoma winter).
I used colored paper (gray, of course) to create a middle tone throughout, which makes it easier to add crisp highlights, like the ones that back light the subject.
Photo credit goes to TJ; paper was a gift of Van – thanks guys!
I’m not usually crazy about drawing and painting sunsets. I find them tedious to create and, upon completion, they all look too much the same. Sunsets are a good example of how something so beautiful and perfect can become quite boring as a work of art (this is probably why many of the greats chose ugly models to paint). Obviously, there are some exceptions to the sunset rule, but I generally stand by.
Because this project had a financial constraint that required it to be a drawing, I thought it might be worth experimenting and, yes, breaking my sunset bias. The scene is a gorgeous San Francisco Bay evening as seen from a friend’s rooftop. I created the base drawing in pencil and charcoal, then went back and brought out the highlights and low lights with my trusty Prismacolor markers.
Turns out, sunsets can be fun and interesting. The resulting colors aren’t as brilliant as the original photograph, but I find this drawing much more wall-worthy and moody than the actual photograph.
This commission, a painting of the beach in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, presents an interesting challenge. First of all, it’s fairly large (24×36″) considering I’m doing it in my old, traditional, painterly style. The colors are also very diverse – although much of the painting is in full, bright sunlight, the foreground is mostly in shadow, requiring a strange mixture of yellows and blues.
Although this challenge was a bit daunting at the outset, in the end I think the transition from background to foreground is convincing because of the moody lighting – it makes the painting work. I will post a final version in the main gallery soon(ish).
Another week, another wedding! Here’s one from last year’s nuptials at the Wren Chapel at the College of William & Mary.
Weddings are a satisfying subject to paint because they get very strong (positive, in my experience) reactions. They’re also a neat way to experience the event – it’s amazing how much you can tell about the character of the wedding, and its bride and groom, by recreating one of the major scenes.
Congrats to Justin and Rebecca!
Another tennis painting.
I love how much anatomy takes place in this image. It’s such an intense motion and really forces you to explore the human physique. Also, the pale skin (of Maria Sharipova) set against the clay court provides a striking contrast, which I love.
The last tennis painting (here) was on a larger scale than I normally paint and showed me that I can really go big with these. So this next one is happening on a 36 x 36″ canvas – the largest I have ever painted.
It’s no coincidence I just got a massive new easel (pictured, sort of).
I’m starting a new series of vibrant, large-scale tennis scenes. I love the movement and contrast in the shots, and the iconic brand names in the background give these pieces a fun punch. The one to the right was torn from a United Airlines magazine – I believe it’s Andy Roddick. A few finishing touches and it’ll be ready for market!
Coincidentally, I’m headed to the US Open next week, so hopefully I’ll snap some good source photos there!
Another quick marker sketch I whipped up, potentially as a bit of DIY decor for my new bathroom.
The Supreme Court has had a big week in the news, with two decisions that made quite a splash here in D.C. By coincidence, the Court has been on my mind for another reason as well. About a month ago I began work on a commissioned piece for a friend who works at SCOTUS (bless her). I’m not really a buildings guy, so this proved somewhat of a challenge, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.
You can see the progress of the painting below, which involved some computer imaging to get those Classical proportions just right.
I’m working on another pixelation - this time of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s better known self-portraits. If it looks like garbage, trying squinting! To me, a painting like this is “hyper-impressionism” – an extension of my regular style.
Pixelations are a fun way to explore color theory, and I would recommend any painter undertake this exercise to improve their ability to see and replicate color. Rather than being arbitrary, the subtlest difference in hue can completely change the structure of a composition.
One thing I’ve learned so far? Pallor involves a lot of green.