Oil Paint Essence Drawing of Robert Saunders

Oil on Paper, 8" square SOLD
This man is one of my favorite models ever. He is tall and stately
with long red hair that is turning white, and a beard and mustache,
a big belly, and long graceful legs. A great leonine head. He looks
like a Viking.
It is really fun to do gesture drawings of him. He often will wear
this floor-length yellow and black kimono if I ask him to - he's
sitting on it in the picture. His body plus the kimono create
a wealth of shapes to draw gestures from. But, as you can see,
he is also good for longer poses, because of his elegant head
and posture.
This was not a particuarly long pose, but I was really on a roll
with my paint brushes. I sometimes find I can draw better with
a brush than I can with a pencil. It is odd.
I did already explain the essence technique a few postings back,
so I won't repeat it here. But, for people who love to draw and
paint at the same time (and you can do it in color too - Dover
Publications has a wonderful book on Degas' Drawings that has
quite a few of his beautiful essence drawings in it) it is a wonderful
medium. A lot of fun!


Pink Peonies ll

Oil on Board, 8" x 8" $95.00 SOLD
Once again, I really enjoyed painting these flowers, and I painted
this one really fast!, because I only had about three hours. It is
fun for me to practice doing this, because if you saw my post from three
days ago, you know that my gallery paintings were very t-i-g-h-t
and had me gripping away at my paintbrush for literally hours
on end. It is so refreshing to take a different approach, even if some-
times it is a failure. I am happy with this painting. I think I like it
better than yesterday's, actually. I think tomorrow I'll either work
with the figure or landscape. No underpaintings - just alla prima.
Nice and relaxed.

John Singer Sargent is always admired for his bravura painting style,
but I don't think a lot of people realize that he was actually taught very
methodically to paint in that manner (of course his gargantuan talent
didn't hurt!!). His teacher, Carolus Duran, who was a very successful
portrait artist in Paris at the time Sargent studied with him, would only
allow his students one touch for each thing, or part of a thing, they were
depicting in a painting. It was called in French, "le premier coup", or "the
first touch". They weren't allowed to correct mistakes either. That will teach
you fast!!

I happen to love underpaintings. I'm just not in the mood for them right now.


Pink Peonies in a Tarnished Silver Beaker

9" x 12", Oil on Board, $100.00 SOLD
I really had a lot of fun doing this painting. Peonies
are one of my favorite flowers, and I look forward
to their coming out every year. We have a couple
of plants in front of our house, but they don't get
enough sun. I treasured the few blooms we got,
but these I got at the supermarket. They were
surprisingly affordable.
I did this over a sketch, but I took a lot of liberties
with the flowers. I had to be a bit tighter with the
cup, just because of the structure. Sometimes I
think I must have been a manuscript illuminator
in another lifetime, because for some reason I really
get a bang out of painting things like those tiny dots
of light, light yellow on the cup rim and base. Maybe
because it reminds me of early Renaissance art, which
I adore.
It was was fun, because the rest of the painting got
to be kind of slapdash, and painting lines of trans-
parent, very brilliant colors through passages of
thick white. You never know what's going to happen...
I think I may do some more peonies tomorrow.


Danielle in Front of a Japanese Print

Oil on board, 9" x 14", NFS
This painting was obviously not done in
one day, as a matter of fact, it took me
about two weeks to paint, but, I had so
many family obligations today that I
didn't have the time to paint, so I decided
to post an example of the type of work I
used to show in galleries.
I do love this painting - it is a painting of a
friend of my daughter's, but I didn't love the
amount of time it took, the intense detail it
involved, or what it did to my right hand.
I ended up with no cartiledge between the
bones of my thumb from painting so much
with my fingers pinced together to create
the detail.
I absolutely love color! And, I think what I
am facing now is a way to achieve the coloristic
complexity of this work while doing it in a looser,
quicker manner, which is more enjoyable and
certainly more relaxed. Right now I am experi-
menting - proving that one is never too old to
This is painted over a grisaille underpainting
(a black and white underpainting). This actually
makes painting easier, but it is a long, drawn-out
process which I seem to have lost the patience for.
Daily painting has changed my attitude towards a
lot of things...
Thanks for visiting today.