20 Minute Sketch: Oil on panel 12×9″ Larger

I thought I would scrape off and reuse this panel but when I photographed it I found there was something about the rawness that I liked. It was the second sketch of the first day of my “Weekend Warriors” figure painting workshop with Randall Sexton, a talented and kind teacher. The model, Meri, was the best I’ve worked with…beautiful, voluptious, charming and a real professional. She is originally from Argentina and came to the SF Bay Area after working with artists in New York City for 10 years.

Below is another 20 minute sketch from day one. Again, I thought I’d wipe and reuse but since I kind of like the energy in it (and didn’t like the cheapo Aaron Brothers panel — way too smooth a surface) I think I’ll hang onto it. (Which means it joins the big stack of “learning opportunities” in my closet until I’m ready to dump them).

Oil on panel, 12×9″ (larger)


Oil painting from a live model is sort of like plein air painting: time is limited and there are so many elements that need to be right (drawing, color , value, likeness etc.) for the painting to work. There is so much to see, discover, understand and interpret in 20 minute sprints of painting.

The model’s breaks between poses afford an interesting opportunity to walk around the room and see what others are doing. I was struck by how different each artist’s work was. There were some very accomplished local painters in this weekend class. I had the good fortune of setting up beside Iris Sabre, a local painter whose style and technique I greatly admire.

I started the larger painting below at the end of day one, with two 20 minute sessions. When we returned on Day 2 we had 3 more 20 minute sessions to “finish” up. This is nowhere near finished (but I wish I’d at least gotten around to fixing those giant hands!)

Oil on panel, 20×16″ (larger)


This was the 20 minute warm up sketch at the beginning of day two:
Oil on canvas panel, 12×9″ (larger)


This was the final painting on day two, about 2 hours and again, not close to being finished and suffering from chalkiness and my exhaustion:
Oil on panel, 20×16″ (larger)


Art theory, Faces, Figure Drawing, Oil Painting, Other Art Blogs I Read, Painting, People, Portrait, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. Great work on your oil figurework Jana. I love the first one. It has beautiful, like you say, raw energy, even though it is a very static pose. It is probably the dynamic brushstrokes and the dark cloak…hope you won’t dump this one?


  2. I love that sketch at the beginning Jana – very striking.


  3. Wow, oh WOW! Would you like to take possession of my right arm tomorrow in class? These are fabulous and I look in awe and wonder….Pondering, maybe one day I can paint like this too? Despite your coffee fiasco it looks like you had a most productive and fun weekend!!!


  4. These are VERY COOL, Jana. You are making wonderful progress with your oils. Looks like a very interesting class. Love this last one but you are right, the energy in the others is interesting.


  5. JANA!!! You have absolutely achieved new heights with these — I love the last especially!!! absolutely outstanding, cara!!!! You should be mighty proud!!!! (I am of YOU!!)


  6. Your painting on these pieces is so fresh, just wonderful. Twenty minutes is no time at all! It’s incredible what you were able to capture so quickly. The brushwork is great, and figures are really difficult, all those proportions to get right. Keep swimming, Dory! Just keep swimming!


  7. I can’t believe all you get done in 20 minutes, Jana. These are really wonderful.


  8. I love the chalkiness. I would leave it. It’s done! The top scraped painting is nice too. It has great brushwork direction.
    Lucky you going to that workshop.


  9. Jana these are great! I can tell you are having fun. Here is a link to an artist that took figure drawing class when I did last year.
    He always used oil or acrylics in class. you might find his work inspiring or maybe not.


  10. Hello, just shot you an email: I’m dying to know where to take classes like the one you’re describing here: can you please let me know? Thanks so much! The paintings are beautiful!– especially the first one. Love the blocky color and the gesture. Reminds me of some Modigliani’s I’ve seen.


  11. Those sketches are wonderful. I have never attended an art workshop where live models are used. I have always used photgraphs as my reference. I must say these sketches and painting are lovely. I like the way the skin tones have come out in these painting.


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