Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Evolution of an Oil Painting

People are always asking me to post progress shots of my work. My method of working, though, is to not have a method. I approach each painting differently than the last, because usually EVERYTHING is different: the model, the lighting, the pose, the environment, and my frame of mind. The one thing that IS consistent from painting to painting is: I set a goal to learn something new.

Here are a few recent paintings (all unfinished except the last) that I managed to get progress pictures of. The first will be a series of two paintings exploring the figure from the back, one with a high-key background, the other with a black background. This one isn't quite done yet, but I'm happy with the progress so far.

High key back study - 16x10" (unfinished)

The second is a head study I started today using only five colors: titanium white, cadmium yellow pale, cadmium scarlet, viridian, and transparent oxide brown. I was amazed that countless luminous skin tones could still be possible with such a limited palette!

"Jessie in Profile" (unfinished) - 12x9"

Finally, here is a demo that I did for my students a few months ago. I ended up finishing the portrait from some photo references, but was able to maintain accurate color and values, thanks to the majority of the work being done from life. The photos were helpful in correcting some small issues with the likeness.

I hope these progress shots are of some help or inspiration to you. I enjoy the journey that each painting takes me on, and while I can't explain every thought that goes through my head as I work (you'll have to take my workshop this summer to get that! ;-)), hopefully these images at least give you an idea of the problem-solving that goes on throughout. Enjoy. :-)

"Michelle" - 12x9" - oil on linen panel - Private Collection



  1. These are looking fantastic. Beautiful and inspiring work, thanks for sharing! Canvas Oil Painting

  2. Painting is the art of creating pictures by applying color to a face. Also Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface. I get pleasure the information you are providing in your website about painting. Thanks

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  4. I am thinking of painting my face changes wayback when I was teenage till now


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