“Retired Preacher”

I’m sticking a fork in this one and calling it done.  This handsome subject presented a few hurdles which turned out to be a bit more challenging than first anticipated.  If you’ve read any of my previous posts you will recognize this image.  It’s the same painting with a few tweaks.  Initially, I thought his right eye was too high (I wished that were the case).  Turns out the entire lower half of his face needed to be shifted ‘left’.

There were a few minor adjustments as well.  The crown of the head needed a little fattening up along with his left cheek.  Of course, that required me to repaint his left ear, which actually came out better, I think.

Here is the previous version:

“Retired Preacher” 10 x 12 oil on panel

Was it really necessary to redo all that work?  This is not a commission piece so who’s gonna know, right?  You could argue either way but I like to do my best to get an accurate likeness.  It’s sort of a personal challenge for me to test my draftsmanship.

All in all he was a wonderful subject!  Just look at the character of those features!  The wisdom of the years is upon that brow and oh, the things those eyes must have seen …



Just Finished …

I just finished reading the book I previously mentioned, “Daily Painting.”  With pen in hand and a notebook at my side I filled numerous pages of illegible scribble (except to me) of action steps I plan on taking.  I think I might write a few posts on some of the things that I found to be most helpful.  For today, I will just say that if you’re interested in this sort of thing then get the book!


Dontcha hate that … ?

You’ve been sitting in front of your easel for HOURS, laboring over a portrait but you just can’t seem to get the likeness right.  You look at it in your mirror, you check the proportions, you break out the dividers and measure each feature in relation to all the rest but, alas, the solution evades you like the last piece of pizza you were saving for breakfast.

Then, someone comes along (in my case my wonderful wife), takes one look at it and says, “Nice job, Honey!  His right eye is a bit too high, though.”  And guess what?  They’re right!  I think that’s why, as painters, we need to make sure we take frequent breaks.

Here’s a pic of the painting in question.  Still a work in progress but it’s starting to look like something.



So, What’s on your easel?


This is the latest study in my pursuit to work ‘looser’.  I set it aside to dry before the next step and it’s been a week so it should be ready by tomorrow.  As you can see much of the dark paint has sunken in (i.e. it has a dull almost chalky look) and appears lighter in value than it really is.  I will need to ‘oil out’ those areas before I proceed in order to get the relationships right.  Here’s a short video put out by our wonderful friends at Winsor & Newton Paints describing and demonstrating the process: