top of page

Being that the subject, John travelled extensively around the world, I wanted to incorporate it in the painting. At first I thought of adding a globe next to him, but on second thought I came up with an old world map that will be in the back.

After drawing it I used gold leaf for the continents which I knew I would glaze so it will look like an old map.

The oceans were painted with light browns as a basic color.

Next I painted his robe in light brown.

The face was painted . Once I got the eyes, painting the rest of the face was rather easy.

I paint in basic flesh colors which I will glaze later on the indicate light and shadow.

Next I painted the hands. I try not to over blend and once the brush stroke hit the canvas, I tend to leave it alone.

I started dropping highlights on the robe with light napels yellow.

The face started getting some shadows and more definitions in the eyes.

The next stage will be in the next blog.

So stay tuned.


12 views1 comment

Before I start the painting I usually mix my palette.

I mix skin tones in three shades. Dark, medium and light.

I use flesh tone, light napels yellow, white, Chinese red and gold transparent ochre.

I also use Asphaltum and Van dyke brown for the darkest tones.

I start with the eyes.

When working on a portrait if I get the eyes right and get the subject looking back at me, then the rest is easy. If the eyes are not working out, I can spend as much time as I want on the portrait. Its not going to work.

Starting is always hard for me. I’ve done it before, yet before I get in the groove it’s as if I have never done it, I have no idea what I am doing, I want my mommy, waaaaa, I am thirsty, yes I’ll make some coffee, oh my it’s the wrong color and then it works.

Now I have to pee.

Now for the second eye.

I studied for my graduate degree at Pratt Institute in NY. When I started I never used oil paint before, water media was a no no, so I used to do a very detail sketch of whatever I was painting and then would paint it, rendering every detail.

Later on I took classes at the New York Academy of art, and learned how to loosen up and do a rough sketch of the subject. I still work like that.

I do not render the images any more.

I let the brush strokes be visible. It's my hand writing sort of and I let the paint and brush do their work and try to stay out of it.

Sounds easy, but it took years to get to this simple place.

For me when someone says that a painting looks like a photo, it's not a compliment.

I want my painting to look like a painting.

For photos I have a camera.

Till next time.


16 views0 comments

So it seems to me that I put the cart before the horse.

And since I am trying to show how I work, I might as well go the the beginning and then get to the final stages.

So here goes.

I start with a sketch on the canvas.

I work from photos of the subject that I took at the studio. When I sketch the subject I add the elements that will represent some of the subjects traits.

When I start I don't always know where I am heading with the painting. I have a general idea which I am aiming for but changes happen and at times the painting takes it's own direction, and I need to follow.

Once the sketch is done, I spray the canvas with workable fixative. I use Prisma color pencils for the sketch and it needs to be sprayed, other wise once I add any oil base medium they will smear.

Now that the sketch is finished, I start painting.

Next blog I will continue the story.

Till later.

To get the blog to your mail box add your name and contact information at the contact menu.

Comments and questions are very welcomed.


8 views0 comments
bottom of page