Mission Statement

This is a blog in which I intend to reach my goal to draw/paint a thousand faces! Welcome, and come along for the journey!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Faces #596-#598

If I hadn't wanted to do something special for face #600, I would have just squeezed another two faces in this post and hit that 600 faces mark. But I should be able to reach that easily by later in the week, even with a lot of other things going on. These below are faces #596, #597, and #598 and are more studies. 
The first two were studies of skin tones on toned paper.The blue paper, although I have worked with it before, can be a little challenging. I am not what they call an "edge to edge" pastelist who covers the entire surface of a painting as one would when  painting on canvas. Although I have gone edge to edge before, I prefer a lot of the paper to show through. This tendency comes from drawing, and regarding the page itself as having as much value as whatever medium one uses to put on the page. In any case, the blue paper can be seen showing through subtly on the man's face (most notably, just above the lower jaw line) where the pastel hasn't been built up in as many layers. Of course, there is more obviously blue showing through on areas of his shirt. The woman's face below uses significantly less layers.

I am off to go run errands so I can get back to drawing and painting! Until next time, take care.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cringing, Absinthe, And Faces #588_#595

  • A small history lesson, to begin this post... It's a tale of two artists who underwent the same very rigorous drawing course/training. Both went on to become hugely famous, but not for their finely tuned drawing skills. One is known for his painting skills, and the other fathered a whole new style of art. I am talking about Van Gogh and Picasso, and their training from Charles Bargue. You can buy a book online containing the plates and an explanation of the lessons of the Charles Bargue drawing course. I bought myself a copy for Christmas several years back. But this is not the point of my post today. The point is, it is not widely known that these two artists underwent such training and that they both had incredible drawing skills. While it is better known in the artistic community, for the most part, the general public may only be familiar with their more famous work, let alone their training. 

  • To an artist, there are a few things about all of this that should be extremely encouraging. For one thing, after all that training and progressing, there are still works from both of these artists that would almost make a person cringe. I looked at Picasso's "Minotaur Caressing A Sleeping Girl", and Van Gogh's "Peasant Of Camargue" in a magazine the other night, and I laughed. Don't get me wrong, I would still gladly be owner of either of these two particular works, and find some artistic value in both. But I doubt either of these artists regarded these pieces as their best work. And it made me think of the non-linear progression of an artist's work, in general. Because even after all our training (self-taught or formal), one day we may put out a great painting, the next day "not so much". Because we are always growing, and sometimes when we grow, we risk, and we stumble. Add to that non-linear progression, the occasional bad day where we have too much absinthe or the like...and there you have it....maybe a painting you cringe over having done. So to any artist out there who has ever had that love/hate thing going on with their work, I hope you will remember this story.
Without further ado, here are faces #588-#595...some of which I have cringed over. And it doesn't negate my own previous rigorous efforts spread over a life time...Some are warm up pieces, some experimental.

Until next time, take care!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Faces #586-#587

This current painting was a study of shapes, color, and texture more than anything else. I may do some more paintings exploring this type of style where some areas are deliberately left partially undefined . I was reading an article about how much the brain compensates for what is unseen, as it pertains to art. This is not a new concept, nor is it exactly new to me. I think this style appeals greatly to people who want to leave something to the imagination. But if an artist such as myself is working from imagination to begin with and not basing their work on actual people, places, or things; there is already a ton of novelty present. It's always a brand new scenario built and designed from the foundation on up. A lot of fun. I can't say I would trade working this way for a more photographic realistic approach. It just wouldn't be for me...

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blue Moon, Face #584 And #585

While I was waiting for the show "Chopped" to air on Food Network the other night, I decided to give myself only 30 minutes to complete a painting, just for fun. For those unfamiliar with the show "Chopped", it's a cooking competition that starts with four chefs. There are three rounds, and one chef is eliminated (or chopped) every round and the objective is to be the only one left. Anyway, these rounds are timed. For the entree round, there is thirty minutes. So I had half an hour before the show aired, and the following painting was done within that time. Not my best work, but fun...
The next day, I decided to give myself thirty minute increments to complete a painting. It started with constructing a general layout, and bare bones drawing.
 Then, about another half hour for adding the skin tones...
 Only ten minutes or so to add the moon. But then after, it was a good stopping point to adjust the design a bit.
 Probably closer to sixty minutes to finish (below) when you add in time for refining.
Faces # 584 and #585, " Blue Moon" 12.5" by 19", pastels on Canson
One final thing before I go... My blogger friend, Libby, is having a giveaway on her blog, so be sure to visit her at :

Until next time, take care!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday's Simple Pleasures

No, I haven't abandoned working with color. I will probably do a piece in color this very afternoon. But in the meantime, I have been enjoying the simple pleasure of drawing over the past week in pastel pencil in shades of espresso. So here today are Faces #580-#583.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Exploring Design, Faces #577, #578, And #579

Although I am pretty sure I have selected a piece I want to enter in a competition, I have been doing some other drawings bearing in mind the possibility of entering something else as well. The competition is strictly geared for drawing, so no full color paintings. So far, I am probably going to stay with my original choice. But these other drawings can be added to my face count here, anyway. They are all done without any real planning, because they are or could be the pre-planned studies for larger full color pieces. Some studies I've done such as the one in my last post, can stand alone: I would sell or keep, frame and hang as they are. With each study, I develop ideas for things such as form, placement, scale, balance, value, and color considerations as well as for the overall flow of a composition. A study, to me, is an exploration of design concepts and ideas. But I openly contend that all my pieces are studies, as they are all creative explorations in some way. No promises, but I will try to sneak in another post by the weekend! Until next time, take care!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Faces #575 And #576

This piece started out as just the man's face and only a glimmer of his torso. I was going to leave it at that, as Face #575. But I kept picking at it, adding her face, arms, the rest of his torso, then a background. So while I had not planned to do another piece of a couple, I arrived there. Still, I don't think I have as yet exhausted "the well" of paintings I do of lovers and know I will do more.
11" by 14", pastel pencil on toned paper
I hope everyone has a nice holiday weekend!