Portraiture in Charcoal

Portraiture in Charcoal

I’ve been silent for a month, forgive me. I’m not sure if I’m asking for forgiveness from you or from myself for neglecting to update.

I’ve been taking a class at Stanford on portrait drawing with John Peck and I have come to enjoy it more than I thought I would. Before I had never invested any time in portraits out of fear. I took this class because of that fear, and while there is still much to improve on I have pleasantly surprised myself.

I’m using Canson Mi-Tientes toned paper and Nitram charcoal.

First session:

Second session:

 

Third session:

 

…and the most recent session. I neglected to take a picture of the 4th, so here is the 5th:

 

However, I have been putting minimal effort towards my homework, either out of travel out of town, laziness, or exhaustion. My teacher appropriately called me out on it and I will work harder.

 

It is fun to see the progression from the first class onward. Looking forward to a new model this week.

No rain

No rain

It hardly ever rains here in California. When I moved here I was surprised how brown it is. Anything green is because of irrigation unless it’s December.

 

I spent this morning working on a logo design for a friend and the creative juices kept going – what came of it is the illustration above, walking in the rain in rubber boots. Great thanks to Kyle’s Megabrush pack.

Vintage Blender

Vintage Blender

This morning’s effort – a vintage Osterizer blender. The glass was especially fun to paint. A quick sketch, pretty loose.

I’m drawn to blenders. They create and destroy to create. Before my orthognathic surgery I was given a blender from my husband’s parents for Christmas, knowing that I would have to use it to eat. For the year that I had it before the surgery I blended protein powder and power greens with blueberries every morning before work. After the surgery I blended pie for pi day, an In-and-Out hamburger with fries just to see if it was good (and it was, considering that my other sustenance was primarily Ensure). Now that I’ve healed and can eat normally again I’m back to protein powder and power greens to power my lifts at the gym. I should have my braces off by my birthday – less than two months to go!

Looking at this I see some errors – perhaps I will give it another try but be more serious about it. It’s kind of lopsided, but it feels good to just paint and accept errors. It’s ok to not be perfect.

Selling Art in Paradise

Selling Art in Paradise

So it’s been a hot minute since my last update. I’ve been doing much better. Remember that post where I asked what you do when you feel blue?
Well, I felt really blue. Mostly because of lifestyle choices which I have since been able to get a grip on.

I’m back in the gym lifting and eating healthy, work is going really well and it looks like there is something on the horizon there as well.

I showed off my art at the Stanford Multicultural Festival – a festival celebrating both diversity at Stanford and those who have managed to work there 15+ years without going crazy.

I made my first two sales! A coworker of mine bought the larger seaside painting because it reminded her of her wedding, and another person bought one of my Sonoma vineyard paintings. Since then I’ve scored a commission that I am hoping to have done and posted here soon.

The Stanley Cup just came to an end. I have never been to a hockey game but I live within walking distance of the SAP Center so I was treated to the crowds for the past week or so. A great opportunity for people watching.

In between games on a Friday night I packed up my easel and used the great backpack straps to haul it over to the SAP center to paint the palm trees, which was the featured image for this post. It was nice and hot out and it brought me back to a tropical paradise state of mind. The underpainting is a golden yellow, which really brightens things up and adds a nice glow. Andrea Bocelli was playing that night at SAP so everyone was dressed up in their nice clothes and the bike taxis were playing his music. Altogether it was lovely.

Sketching and more about my jaw

I’m having less pain from my jaw surgery every day, which is great! What does suck is the feeling of the nerves in my chin growing back. Sometimes it feels like I’m drooling, other times it feels like bugs crawling or pinching under my skin. I’m in it for the long haul though – feeling should come back after 3-4 months.

I’m finally pleased with my Paintings section of my website – they’re currently all available.

I’ve added my second sketch for Reddit Gets Drawn to this post. Quick studies can be very helpful when trying to understand facial structure, and often times it pays off to think about the relationship of lines. Proko has some great videos on how to sketch faces and heads.