Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Figure Drawing 12-14-10

Here are some sketches from tonight's figure drawing session. We won't have anymore until after the new year now...couple weeks off might make me pretty rusty.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Portrait study

Here's a portrait study I did this weekend. Oil on linen. 10x12, Zorn Palette (Titanium white, Yellow ochre, Cadmium red, Ivory black). It is based loosely on the pencil drawing I did the other day. After looking at the sketch, I decided to change some things about the pose to make it look more relaxed before I painted it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Figure Drawing 11-9-10

Here's a 20 minute drawing from tonight's figure drawing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Figure Drawing 10-26-10

Here are a couple figures from tonight's figure drawing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Small painting

Here's a small painting I did this weekend. 10x5.25 inches. Oil.

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Painting

After a week of not painting in the morning, it has felt more like a month. I got up this morning before 6, took my time eating, started the truck and let it heat for 10 minutes, and it was still dark. I drove to the river to find something to paint and it was still pretty dark. The days are rapidly shortening. I was under-dressed (freezing temps) and uninspired for whatever reason (maybe because it was still dark)! I drove home. I like getting up early to knock out a painting before I do my real work and it was getting rather late. Before I did leave, I saw 2 really neat white cranes on a tributary next to the river. I tried taking a picture with my cell phone but I think it was still too dark to see them. Unless I change my time at which I paint in the morning, I might have to wait until the time falls back. Well, I might post a drawing later today or tomorrow that I've been working on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Painting at the river this morning

Small sketch at the river this morning. 8x10.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Figure Drawing 10-12-10

Couple sketches from tonight's figure drawing session.

Oak Reflection

Another water study. From this morning at the marsh. 8x6.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cold early morning painting

28 degrees this morning made for a cold session of painting. A very frosty, foggy morning out at the marsh. 8x6.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marsh Painting

A small water study I painted this morning at a marsh. Oil, 8x10

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another nice morning to get out and paint

I had very limited time this morning but I wanted to squeeze in a painting outside since the nice days are limited. 8x6

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Field painting off Hwy 50

Small one from this morning off Hwy 50 again. 8x6

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Field Painting this morning

Quick oil sketch early this morning off Hwy 50. 8x10

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This morning's painting

Painted this morning off highway 50 on the way to Lake Geneva. 8x10.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Painting at the lake this morning

Here's a small painting I did at the lake this morning. 10x8, oil on linen.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Painting this morning

I got up and painted this morning near the river but this was a swampy inlet of some sort. I thought it was going well until I looked at when I got home. Originally 6x8 but I "virtually" cropped it as seen to 6x6. I dislike it a little less but it's too dab-a-dab with a small brush and just doesn't work.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Portrait sketch of my wife

My wife was able to sit for me for 1.5 hrs while the girls were sleeping this afternoon. 8x6. Oil on C12 linen mounted to dibond.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Profile Sketch

A little oil on linen quick sketch of my wife tonight as she was working at the computer.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fox River again

I returned to the Fox River to paint again early this morning. 9x12, oil on linen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Figure Drawing 8-24-10

Quick sketch from tonight's figure drawing.

Fox River Plein Air

Got up this morning and painted the Fox River in town. There was a wonderful hazy mist off the water and fog in the air which led me to a tonal painting. 8x6, oil on linen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Figure Drawing 8-17-10

Couple quick figures from tonight's figure drawing. PanPastel.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Figure Drawing 8-10-10

I went to figure tonight but I feel like I didn't show up...man...I did a lousy job and am only posting this mediocre one.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Barberry Revisited part 2

Here is a barberry that I posted months ago which I dug up in the spring. I continually study it to try to decide which trunk to keep next spring. It has a 4" base.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Plein Air 8-5-10

Got up early this morning and headed to a wooded park to paint. More or less just experimenting with paint application (and removal). 10x8, oil on linen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Figures 7-27-10

Here are a couple figures from tonight's figure drawing session.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bonsai Material

I finally got around to taking pics of some of my better rough bonsai material which found it's way into my garden this year. The American Hornbeam is collected from the wild and next spring I will probably trunk chop it lower to induce taper lower on the trunk but it has really taken off with new growth in a short amount of time. The Corkbark Elm is really taking off as well. It will be trunk chopped next spring as well and I will take a closer look at the branches to see if any are worth keeping or if I should regrow them. Hopefully I can induce growth on the left but the aggressive growth I've seen so far, I would think it shouldn't be much of a problem. The Ponderosa Pine was collected in the Rockies at 5800' elevation and is approximately 100 years old. I am new with pine but this is my baby. Nothing will be done until I see it flourish and acclimate to my garden. I have had this one less than a week and still trying to find the best location in the yard to blast it with sun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Figure Drawing 7-13-10

Here is a 20 minute figure drawing from tonight's session. This is Pan Pastel on paper. I really enjoy this medium for the soft painterly look that it provides. The product is a little tin, like a make-up container, with a compressed powder similar to pastel or charcoal. Not quite sure what it is exactly. It comes in dozens of colors but I have a set of greys. I have only used the black. The applicators are sold separately but they are small plastic palette knives with replaceable soft covers that slip over the tip and come in a variety of shapes. I use the triangle one almost exclusively. It is such a dark color that grabs the surface immediately which makes it difficult to gauge how much is on the applicator until it is on the paper so I often have a paper towel to wipe the excess off the tip. The triangle shape allows me to use both the soft pointed tip and the broad side to apply marks which works well with this length pose because I use line with the tip and the broader side to apply wider marks. Finding the right balance in this length of time between a line drawing and some subtle shading is always on my mind. Too much and it looks over worked. Too little and I didn't use the time to it's fullest to build up form and capture a sense of the light source and interplay between light and shadow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No Model Again

Well, I haven't had a chance do any art since last Tuesday and was hoping to knock out some figure drawings tonight but the model called and canceled. I was kind of bummed about that especially since I drove 45 minutes there to find out because she was last minute in the cancellation.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Model No Show

The model was a no show tonight for figure drawing so we took turns doing quick sketches of each other. Here are a couple.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Monica's "Body for Life" before and after

My wife entered the Body for Life challenge which she just completed yesterday. It is a 12 week diet and workout plan. I followed the diet with her but did my own workout plan and did not enter. I basically just ate cleaner and didn't want to enter the competition because I would've done my own workout plan and a stricter bodybuilding diet. It would've consumed all of my time and energy as bodybuilding show competitions have done for me in the past.

Anyway, Monica did an awesome job sticking with it and staying dedicated. As a result of all her hard work she transformed dramatically. She started 3 months post-pregnancy and ended 6 months post-pregnancy. She lost 11.5 lbs., 1"on her arms, 2.5" on her upper thigh, 3" on her lower thigh, 3.5" on her waist and 2.25" on her hips.

The key to success with this type of plan is that it isn't extreme. It's about balance, moderation, dedication. There is no starving. There is no cutting out macro-nutrients. There is no working out 2 hours a day. One eats 6 times a day and works out 6 times a week in sessions well under an hour. I am proud of her and I know that she is happy with the results. We just stocked up on the same groceries for this month as we did while eating under this plan so we will continue eating clean as we did while she was doing the program.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Skull Drawing

Here's a skull drawing I did today.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Frame for my drawing

I had this framed a few weeks ago and was given to my wife for our anniversary. Art Nouveau frame, 8 ply mat, and museum glass.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Further Elm Work

As per some more reading, I decided to go back to this elm and "ring bark" it. The wire tourniquet method would've been less drastic as I started to do but you would have to wait for the trunk to swell and the wire to cut in to the cambium in order for a new root system to emerge (or the bark to simply grow around the wire which I don't want). The "ring bark" method as shown in the photos was what i just did to it yesterday. I used a sharp knife to cut the bark off around the tree about an inch high. I used a dremel to get into some hard to reach areas. I then surrounded the trunk with my mesh lathe stuff again and filled it up with "soil." Roots should emerge right along the upper cut. This will have to probably remain on the parent tree for one year before it establishes itself enough on the new root system. In the meantime I will fertilize heavily and allow as much top growth as possible to force the roots into growing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Elm Ground Layer

A few weeks ago I decided to try an experiment. What you see in these images is a species of elm that naturalized within some of my massive privet hedges. I've seen a number of these growing and over the years they were ruthless hacked back and whacked with the weed whip and just keep coming back. This particular one has developed burls and an overall ugliness to the trunk that I find appealing. The base is about 5" wide. I believe these might be a slippery elm. I tore off some leaves and when rubbing the petiole they have a slippery feeling. The leaves are very rough on the top surface and have a double serration along the the edge, alternating from large to small and the base of leaves have a non-symmetrical oblique and acute curve to them. Regardless of the species of elm, I will proceed with the explanation of the experiment. This tree's trunk curves well below and behind the underside of a privet. It is non-intriguing beneath the surface when I dug a couple inches below. It also has reverse taper between the burls and trunk line and would make removal difficult having to remove the huge privet and elm together. I decided to try ground-layering this. Right below the burl at the dotted line is the old soil line which was dug out to prepare for wire and a new soil medium as indicated in (b). This is where I took a heavy gauge wire and wrapped it tight around the trunk and tightened the wire as hard as I can with pliers, biting into the bark as shown in red in figure (c). I then took plastic lathe that I had from a home remodel project and cut a strip of it and wrapped it around the trunk and wired the two ends of the strip of lathe together as shown in (d) to form a "pot". I filled this up with a mixture of sphagnum moss and Turface MVP covering up some of the burl as well as indicated in (e). Over time, this trunk will swell and the wire will cut into the cambium. Theoretically new roots will begin to grow into the new medium directly above the wire. In an ideal situation this will take 8 weeks. Other times this will be left on until next spring. When the new roots colonize this "pot" I can remove the tree from it's old root system by sawing through the trunk below the wire and pot it up.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Figure Drawing 5-25-10

Not too many good figure drawings from tonight's session. Here is one with PanPastel.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bonsai Bench

This is a bonsai bench I built for alongside the house. It measures 4x10. The decking is air-dried white oak that I got for free which I ripped down to 3" widths and spaced 3/4" of an inch. I dug out the sod and picked up 1 ton of washed gravel. This isn't a final display area but instead a place to allow my trees to develop. I hope that this area receives enough direct light. I measured between 5 and 6 hours of morning to early afternoon light. I may have to move some of the sun-hungry trees depending on how they do. I'm still undecided where to place a couple large Amurs which aren't in this area yet.