Sketching from TV

I’ve been enjoying using my new jumbo iPad Pro 12.9 and Apple Pencil with the Procreate App to sketch interesting characters on TV shows I watch. It’s fun getting back to drawing faces, especially when the actors are emoting.  It’s fun and addictive experimenting with what the app has to offer and trying to learn about all the different brushes and features.


Above from Broadchurch — not quite a likeness and lots wrong with the drawing but had to stop sketching and watch the rest of the episode! ( (it’s back for Season 3 on BBC America). All of these sketches are done in Procreate, with Apple Pencil and jumbo IPad Pro. This one used a combination of airbrush and technical pen. The other two below mostly used the 6B pencil. Read More

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Color: Apple, Lemon and Turquoise Cup

Apple, Lemon and Turquoise Cup, oil on panel, 10x8"

Apple, Lemon and Turquoise Cup, oil on panel, 10×8″

I painted this a couple of months ago and I’m finally getting around to posting it. I was focusing on composition and just having some fun with color. and shapes. The gray/black stair-step shape in the back is styrofoam packing material. Below are the steps in the process of the painting.

Freesias in a Pill Bottle

Freesias from Brigitte, oil on panel, 8x8"

Freesias from Brigitte, oil on panel, 8×8″

This was a quick little painting from life that happened spontaneously one afternoon when my tenant came out to my studio and presented me with some freesias in a vitamin bottle.

It might have been a more interesting painting if I’d a) included the lettering on the bottle and b) taken time to do a preliminary thumbnail sketch so that the flowers weren’t almost touching the top of the panel. I was interested in looking at white in shadow and gray in light and shadow and the colors found in both from the warmish light and flower reflections.

Fresia photo reference

Photo of set up (slightly different perspective and light)

From Veggie Porn to Bad Begonias

Veggie Porn, oil on Gessobord panel, 8x8"

Veggie Porn, oil on Gessobord panel, 8×8″

I’ve developed the goofy habit of storing my leftover cucumber in the bell pepper half when I prepare a salad. It always makes me laugh so I decided to paint it. My sister called it veggie porn. I hope it makes you chuckle too.

I’m trying out a new format for my blog posts, a simple list with images of what I’ve been working on, successes, challenges and what else is going on in the studio and my life. Theoretically it will mean less writing and more frequent posting. So here goes…let me know what you think.

CHALLENGES: I’ve been struggling with composition, discovering half way through a painting that the composition sucks and the painting will never be an enjoyable thing to look at.

SUCCESSES: I finally got the willingness to begin all paintings with some thumbnail sketches. I realized that COMPOSITION is simply the structure that directs the eye around the painting, creates a feeling of action or stillness and (if done well) delights the eye. Two of my favorite painters, Susan Jane Walp and Giorgio Morandi use composition in unexpected ways, and both delight the eye (or at least my eyes) whether they are following or breaking the “rules” of composition or making their own.

LETTING GO OF A BAD PAINTING: This one started off really happily but ended up in the trash, after scraping and redoing it over and over until I killed it so dead it couldn’t be revived. I just felt there was too much red, that it was too “hot” somehow. A friend suggested adding black. That was the final nail in the coffin. I’m not sure why I’m even sharing it at all.

FAIL: Bad Begonias, oil on panel, 10x8"

FAIL: Bad Begonias, oil on panel, 10×8″

SKETCHES: I try to do a sketch from the SKTCHY App at least weekly. Here is a recent one.

Isabel T, from Sktchy photo reference, graphite, 12x9"

Isabel T, from Sktchy photo reference, graphite, 12×9″

WHAT I’M READING: “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.” Great book about how our devices and apps are designed to keep us using them. I waste way too much time web-surfing on my phone. This book gave me some tools for changing my habits along with a good talking to! I think it’s a must-read for parents especially.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys on Amazon music, which I like much better than Apple music. (If you’re interested, here’s a link to  Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial)

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