Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Kat" Figure Study

8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I have not painted from the figure in a while, so when the opportunity came up, I jumped on it. I have been doing most paintings from imagination lately.  It was nice to have a break from that, and paint from the figure. This painting was completed in 3 hours in a smaller size than my usual figure paintings. I enjoyed painting this figure in a smaller size since it allows you see the values as a whole. First, I drew the figure with a dry brush articulating each shape as simple as I can. Then I applied a middle base color for the shadows and the lights.  I attempted to paint in the middle tones and not get too light or too dark.  This allowed me to go in either direction when adding smaller and subtle forms without getting too muddy. Instead of starting with the darks after laying the middle values, I painted smaller forms into the lights. This allowed me to shape the form and address textures along the figure. I did the same with the shadows once the lights were complete. What I enjoyed most about this piece was playing with different skin textures on such a small scale. 

Thank you for stopping by, cheers!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Etsy Shop

4 x 6 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Hi everyone, I am back and wanted to let everyone know I have posted new paintings at my Etsy shop. There are a couple landscapes as well. I hope to start producing more alls prima paintings when I am done getting ready for a show in a couple weeks. I will share more information of my first curated show in the next post!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Plein Air-ing it

10 x 8 in
Oil on Canvas

I love long weekends especially at the cabin with family and friends. Sleeping was the number one thing in the agenda and I am happy to say that I succeeded. Second to sleeping was continuing my journey with plein air paintings. As I mentioned in previous post landscapes are not my strong suit, but I do have an admiration for them and enjoy painting them any chance I can. I wanted to try to capture the time of day as fast as I can without having the distraction of putting every hair on a dog.  My goals were to capture the time of day, mood in the painting, and edit my process.

Similar to my previous post, I started with the top left picture with just a quick gesture of the landscape. I only want to capture the essence of the scene and its perspective. The top right picture shows my next step, this stage I only ad the overall tones for each section of the painting. This stage I like to call the "rough" in stage, still going quick to capture the type of light I want, similar to doing gestures but with color. This stage allows me to see how the overall color and mood that will be in the final painting. I want to try to keep close to this palette the further I move away from this stage and closer to the final. The bottom left picture I start to zero in on a section and take it to a finish. I first start with the darker values and move to the lighter values. In this stage I am taking the tree's in the foreground and the tree's in the background to a close finish. Then on the bottom right picture I complete the lake and sky, repeating the same process in working from dark to lighter values.  When all the shapes and values are stated in the painting and close to a finish I can then go around and put the finishing touches. 

Painting on location.

Here is another painting I did when the sun was starting to set the previous day. This was a really quick painting as the clouds were going in and out. The size of this painting is 5 x7 inches, being restricted to that size allows you to go much quicker.

Thank you again for stopping by and viewing. I hope you enjoyed this post and the paintings. Till next time, cheers!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Plein Air Painting

Email me if interested in purchasing
9 x 12 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I went up north to Park Rapids, Minnesota for vacation. Every year I go up I always leave saying "I wish I brought my paints with me!", finally I did! I am the first to tell you that painting landscapes have always been a weakness of mine. I do love them I just do not do them enough, maybe once or twice a year I'll get out and paint a landscape. Going to Park Rapids I wanted to change that and at least do a couple landscapes.

Experiencing nature when you're outdoors painting is something that I truly enjoyed. I would recommend everyone to do it as much as they can. With this process I wanted to lay down the tone or mood of the painting right away. After the initial drawing I painted each section with their general tones, not worrying about details just laying in the overall tones. Doing this allows me to see a "rough' draft of how the final will look, it also lets me get the tones down quicker especially for plein air painting. As I stated in my previous post the "rough" in stage does not mean scumbling paint everywhere in a messy way. I am still thinking of smooth transitions, edges and paint quality. At this stage I also keep the paints thin as I will be adding more layers when putting in the smaller forms or "details". Once the "rough" in stage is complete I start section by section in completing the painting, going from darker to lighter forms. I like to make sure each section is to a close finish as I can take it before moving onto the next section. Once all sections are completed I look at the painting as a whole and put the final touches so the painting can be cohesive.

Till next time, cheers!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Saint Paul the Hermit

"Saint Paul the Hermit"
11 x 14 in
Graphite on Paper

It's been a long time since I last posted and apologize for the absence. I have been producing a lot of paintings and drawings which I'll share with you guys soon. I created this drawing for my show at Ciel. Excited to show at this wonderful venue. The show opens with an artist reception from 6 - 8 pm on August 28, 2014.

It was fun breaking this process down which was a little different from my previous process. The left picture shows the initial drawing with key points. These key points consist of width, height, length and shadow placements. The picture on the top right is where my process changed a bit. In this stage I would just go ahead and do big form modeling, instead I skipped that stage and just "roughed" in where the middle, light and darker values are in those key areas. Doing this allows me to get closer to the look I am going for with the whole drawing, kind of a rough draft of what the final should look. It's important to understand though I keep this stage light and not go too dark with my values as they may shift. Just because it is the "rough" in stage does not mean you give up the quality of the drawing, I am still going for subtle transitions and values turning with the form. The third picture, the bottom left, I start working on the smaller forms and bring the first top half to a finish. I shorten my strokes in this stage to get a nice subtle transition in the areas that need them. I keep going from darker to lighter values making sure each form is corresponding to its value relationships. The picture on the bottom right shows the same procedure applied to the beard. Once the beard is complete I look at the drawing as a whole and evaluate my values again. At this stage I put the final touches and call it done!

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Rubens" Ball Point Pen

Rubens Copy
3 x 5 in
Ball Point Pen

This drawing started as an experiment to try out a new sketchbook I bought.  I used a heavy weight drawing paper sketchbook by Bee Paper Company Professional Series. It was tough trying to get textures with the drawing because the paper was not as smooth as I usually draw on. I welcomed the challenge and enjoyed deciphering it.  I was not to fond of the graininess in the beginning but ended really liking how it meshed with the drawing in the later stages. This drawing is after Peter Paul Rubens "Two Satyrs". The expression Rubens created with this portrait is amazing. He definitely is one of my all time favorite painters I look up to and inspire to paint/draw like.

 Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Cheese Board"

Email me if interested in purchasing
"Cheese Board"
16 x 20 in
Oil on Canvas 

This is a new still life painting I made for an Art Fair I participated a couple weeks ago. I will post more pictures soon of the whole event and the other paintings I showed there. It was nice painting a still life again in the classical method. Setting up the objects and painting them fast enough before they start rotting was a challenge. 

The setup.

Process pics of the grapes and cheese near completion.

The bread also near completion. 

Once the foreground was complete I filled in the background and brought the whole painting together. I was able to soften edges and make objects recede. I was using Ivory Black and knew that it's a slow drier, which is the reason I saved it till the last stage. Once the black was painted in, I then went back to the foreground and keyed up certain values and hues.

Once the painting was complete I was able to enjoy the still life by drinking some good wine with grapes, bread and cheese. Thank you for stopping by and viewing! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Tony" ARC Salon 2013-2014 Finalists

3 x 5 in
Ball Point Pen

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer. I have been extremely busy, as usual, and have finally found time to post. Very excited to announce I am a finalists at the ARC Salon 2013-2014 Competition. You can see more of the finalists here.  I have always wanted to apply and finally was able to. The Art Renewal Center is an incredible site to find amazing artist who are trained in the classical method. You can also find accredited ateliers around the world at the ARC.

The story behind this portrait starts with shopping at Trader Joe's. I noticed "Tony" working there and approached him to draw his portrait. He was a little hesitant at first, but after showing him some of my work he agreed to pose for me. There is something unique that attracted me to draw his portrait. You never know when you find your next drawing/painting subject matter, but when you do you have to jump on the opportunity. "Tony" was a blast to draw, looking forward to painting his portrait in the near future.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


11 x 14 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I did this painting of a good buddy of mine. I painted his portrait in the beginning in the manner of dutch painters, starting with a monochromatic underpainting. To do an underpainting in this manner is beneficial, it lets you work out the tonality of the painting before worrying about color. Essentially all you have to worry about is color when the underpainting is complete. As you can see I changed the background to a lighter color than just using black. This approach is not for everyone but its something to try out at least a couple times to see if you like it. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 14, 2014

"Star Fruits"

"Star Fruits"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Something about the last post must of had an effect on our weather, the temperatures started getting warmer and I am loving every bit of it. Spring is definitely right around the corner, now to just melt all the snow thats accumulated. I wanted to continue the alla prima serious with another painting of star fruits. Their color and texture really attract me. It has a nice variation of smooth and rough texture, not to the touch but more visually. I forgot how much I really enjoy painting alls prima's, I find it to be the same experience as drawing in my sketchbook. It's a way I can just set up a small little still life and just practice away. 

Thank you again everyone for stopping by and viewing my painting. Hope spring is around the corner for you as well.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Gesture drawings

Since revamping my blog I really have not put anything other than my alla prima paintings on here. I want this blog to showcase all the things I like to draw and paint. 

Tonight I went to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and attended their open figure drawing sessions. It's vital for all artist to keep up with drawing no matter how much one paints. Drawing is fundamental to everything. It's obvious when someone is lacking with their drawing no matter how well they can paint. These drawings are one to 10 minute gestures.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


8 x 10 
Oil on Canvas

I hope everyone is keeping warm in this brutal winter polar vortex. This winter has tested our patience and hopefully will let up soon. I wanted to do an alla prima painting of these star fruits to remind me summer is around the corner. It was fun painting alla prima again, to try to finish the painting in one sitting was challenging after not doing for a while.  Can't wait to produce more of these alls prima's to get back on the band wagon.

Thank you for stopping and viewing my painting. Stay warm!

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Pink Peonies"

"Pink Peonies"
12 x 9 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Happy New Years everyone! I have so much to be thankful for such a wonderful year, excited to see what the future has in store. Can't think of any other way to ring it in other than painting.  I have been wanting to paint for a while and finally after all the holiday festivities I was able to do so. Peonies have always been a personal favorite of mine to paint, their color and texture are a big draw to me. It's a subject in which if you try painting every single hair on a dog it will not work in your favor. Either way it's a challenging subject matter to paint, but always a pleasure to do.

I start with a very thin layer of raw umber, not using any mediums either. I do not use any mediums through out the duration of the painting, I like to keep the toxins level as low as possible. This stage I like to concentrate mainly on the composition and placement of shapes. I am not concerned with details or getting everything perfect, just getting the overall placements in the right areas. Later on through the painting the shapes shift here and there that's why I like to keep this stage fairly loose. You can think of it as a gesture drawing, not concerned with proportions or details, just the sole of the drawing, the movement of life through out the drawing. 

Once the drawing is complete I then start with the peonies and its stems. This is the big form modeling stage. I am only concerned with getting the overall chroma and the turning of the form correct. Still not worried about details, just turning the form with the lights and correct chroma.

Once the big form molding stage is complete I then start with smaller form modeling. In order for this stage to work the big form modeling needs to be correct. I have found with a lot of my students they like to rush through this step. The importance of getting that stage right is overlooked at more often than not. Smaller form modeling is just a miniature version of big form modeling. 

I am still not completely done with smaller form modeling since the background and leaves are not done. I lay in the background and really like how it pushes the peonies forward.

I keep going back and forth with the small form modeling stages through out the peonies and leaves. The painting is finally complete and really satisfied with it. These peonies get me excited for the summer after these sub zero temperatures we are experiencing. 

Thank you for stopping by and viewing, wishing everyone a Happy New Years! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"White Ranunculus"

"White Ranunculus"
10  x 8 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

Hi everyone, it has been a long time since I posted especially an alla prima painting. This year has been a whirl wind for me, an amazing year to say the least. After the wedding this summer I dived into several commission projects, one of them I was able to share on the previous post.  A long with working on those projects we have become new home owners! I still cannot wrap my mind around it. A little scary but amazing to own our own home. I know thanksgiving is long passed but I have many things to be thankful. I could not have dreamed for such an amazing year and what it's still surprising us with. I wanted to thank you guys as well for still reading my blog, even though this passed year I have been very limited on how much I have posted. I swear when I say I'm trying to get better in posting regularly, it's hard to post about painting walls when all I want to do is paint on canvas. 

I've stated in previous post I was not going to paint alla prima paintings for a long time, well, long time has definitely passed. I really do miss doing these little guys. They are equivalent to sketching in your sketchbook when practicing. I have not painted in a while do to the move and we are still getting situated in our new home.  Painting this alla prima gets the blood flowing again, gets my routine going with painting. I will never stop doing these alls prima's for that reason a lone, it allows me to always practice fine tuning my craft, which I think we should always keep doing as artist. This painting is the first painting to be done in my new studio, fitting to say the least. I did not want to just post the finishing painting, I miss explaining my process. It's always beneficial to share your process no matter what your style is, there's always going to be someone out there that will benefit from it. 

I started with a dry brush and raw umber for the drawing stage. In this stage I like to keep the drawing simple and clear. Not worried about details, just concerned with placement and proportions.  

I then fill in the basic colors for all the sections of the painting, this is the only stage I work everything at the same time. I do this to get the overall tone of the painting from the get go. I work with big form modeling at this stage as well. The point of big form modeling is to state how the lights and basic color note wraps around the form. The colors I use is naples yellow, raw umber, viridian, cerulean blue, cadmium yellow. 

I know all my shapes are not final when I move on, I like to have the freedom to be able to move things if I need to. Now I start concentrating one section at a time. After big form modeling is complete I start with small for modeling in the darks. I start with the left side of the flowers, first by stating the middle to darker tones. I do not like to state the darkest darks first, I like to slowly move into them by starting with a middle tone. I am using the same colors as I did in the previous step. The good thing about this method is that you'r painting wet into wet, the tricky part is to not get to muddy or thick quickly. 

Once the smaller forms for the darks are complete I move onto the lights. I like to jump between those two stages to get to the right look I'm going for.

I repeat the same process with the right half of the flowers. First by stating the darker smaller forms. An important thing to understand with smaller forms, they can only exist if the big form modeling is done correctly. Small form modeling is the icing on the cake, all your work is mostly done with big form modeling. A lot of people like to jump straight into small form modeling or the "details" instead of concentrating on big form modeling. Big form modeling stage is extremely important to get right, it's the stage where you have to make the lights believable. 

After I worked with smaller form modeling of the lights I moved onto the vase and vines. I apologize for not showing more process from that point. I essentially repeated the same process what I did with the flowers. I changed the vase to fit better with the overall composition. After the vase was established I went back into the flowers and brought out the lights and darks more.  I keep tweaking sections that have changed by values I established in other areas. I constantly walk back forth from the painting, especially towards the end. The painting looks much different when standing back, I never judge my values and chromas from up close, always by standing back. I could keep working on this painting, but I have to stop, especially when I feel it served its purpose. 

Thank you again everyone for tuning in and interested in seeing my paintings. I appreciate all the support. I hope you guys enjoyed this one, see you guys soon!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Collaboration Artshow

For the past two years I've collaborated with local artist Peter Geyen.  This is not only a collaboration with him but with a whole group of artist as well. There is so much that goes into making just one piece of art. The only contribution I have obviously are the paintings.  I have two large paintings as well as five smaller ones.  All paintings are landscapes and have their own theme.  

These paintings are completely different than what I usually do and I enjoy that the most.  To be taken out of my comfort zone and try a different direction is always beneficial.  I always learn something new when I do these type of paintings. They also can be extremely stressful. 

All these pieces can be seen at the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis from October 25 to November 10, 2013.

Oil on Fiber Glass
7 x 5 ft

Oil on Fiber Glass
6 x 5 ft

Oil on Canvases

The rest of the pieces are spectacular in their own right. The imagination with beautiful design is worth seeing in person.  I'm proud to collaborate with these guys and excited to see what the future brings.  Hope everyone can see these wonderful pieces of art in person.