Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alla Prima: Carpenter Rick (Oil 20 x 16) and En Plein Air: P. G. Horse Farm Vehicle Work Site ( Oil, 10 x 14

After I was done with the portrait studio session at VAC Punta Gorda today, I went to P. G. Horse Farm again. Unfortunately, the horses were eating and would not come out in the open for another hour. Therefore, I tried to paint the complicated work site. It was just an experiment. It's not easy to handle all those things.

Monday, February 24, 2014

En Plein Air: Two Roxannes

This morning I went with Punta Gorda VAC Plein Air group to a horse farm. I did two paintings in the morning. On the average, they each took an hour and a half. The first one is a horse named Roxanne; the second a fellow artist who happened to be named Roxanne, too. A guy on the farm named Jim is very friendly. He seemed to like my paintings very much and invite me to paint again anytime.

 Oil, 9 x 14

Oil, 12 x 9

Sunday, February 23, 2014

En Plein Air: The Dirt Road by the Canal (Oil 12 x 9)

The view is on my bike route, too, located at the intersection of Moore Ave. by E 5th St. It took an hour and forty-five minutes. I was painting into the effect. The dusk was falling fast. Actually, there is an anecdote behind this painting. 

Many of you know my biking serves two purposes. One is for exercise, of course; the other is to explore the surrounding area in order to pick scenes for plein air painting. For that reason, I often altered my biking route from time to time. Once, I remember, I biked into Hendry County on a deserted road full of potholes and cracks. It is true I often took the road less traveled.

A few days ago, I biked along E 3rd St. to the east. It is the street next to a canal and there were very few houses on the road, and no traffic at all. I felt I was left alone in the world biking on the road when I saw a police car ahead of me. I felt strange. Why was the cop patrolling here in the middle of nowhere? More strangely, he drove very slowly. When i caught up with him, he had stopped at the intersection form some time, sitting there looking around. After I passed him, he started to drive slowly again. By the time, I caught him at the next intersection, I saw him doing the same thing -- stopping his car and looking around. I thought it was none of my business and ignored him. Therefore, the two of us were going along E. 3rd St. by ourselves, passing each other by turns all the way till we were nearing Scott Ave. There was a house there ahead of us and on both sides of the road were a whole bunch of cars and trucks including some police cars. At that point of time, my traveling companion began to drive faster than before. He passed me and parked his car on the roadside with the other vehicles. 

I saw quite a few people (maybe plain-clothes) and cops on the road. They were all opening their trunks to get stuff. I saw some of them wearing something like black turtlenecks with the collar pulled up so high that it covered their mouths. What the heck, it's not that cold, I thought to myself. What's going on? Wait a minute... Oh no, they all had on their bullet-proof vest and took their automatic machine guns out of their trunks. By then, I was in the middle of the crowd of cops, some of them walking towards the house and others spreading out to surround it. What should I do? I saw a cop staring at me with gun in hand. He motioned me to ride faster. I really wanted to be out of it, so I began to pedal really hard, praying they would wait for me to leave before they stormed the house. I used the top speed on my bike but I felt it moved like a turtle. Would bullets come from behind my back? Pretty soon, I hit Moore Ave. I made a left turn. In a minute, I was on the dirt road in the painting.

I don't know what the cops were doing there. Was it a growing house as people here call it? I don't know. They looked like a SWAP team. I tried to find out on news time but couldn't. Maybe I missed it because of Winter Olympic Games.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Alla Prima Portrait: Nurse Linda (Oil 20 x 16)

Today at Punta Gorda's portrait studio there were two models. They were sisters Linda and Cher. Linda is a nurse and Cher a teacher. I happened to have set up at the site for Linda when they showed up.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Croquis Cafe -- A Useful Tool for You to Train Yourself in Drawing

If you are interesting in portrait or figure painting/drawing, Croquis Cafe is a very useful tool to you ( It is On Air Company's product published online every week. If you click the subscribe button, they will notify you each week. Otherwise, you have to go online to get it. On each video clip, a nude model, varying in gender and age, will pose several 1-minute postures, a 2-minute one, and a 5-minute one. During intervals they will adviertise their art supplies products and ask for donations. Of course, it's up to you.

The one I worked with today is their Week 98 video clip with a model named Tamara. Tamara is a middle-aged woman and a little age-appropriately chubby. As a matter of fact, I love to work on models in their natural state no matter if they are tall or short, heavy or lean. How many people look like Cindy Crawford in real life? 

For me, 1-minute pose is for training myself to grasp the image with a few simple lines. 2-minute poses allow you to show some relationships. Today, I tried ink-wash for the 5-minute pose. I am sure I could do better if I practice more. 

In self-training, a wooden figure mannequin will help.






Tuesday, February 18, 2014

En Plein Air: Driving All the Way to the Sea (Oil 10 x 10)

This morning I went to Fort Myers Beach. After leaving my car on the Art Association parking lot, I crossed the street to the beach. My original purpose was to find some sun bathing people lying there and paint figures in the sun. When I recalled, I realize the idea was subconsciously influenced by the Joaquin Sorolla Y Bastida exhibition which I watched in New York. I was so impressed by his plein air studies on the beach. Very few masters in art history have ever worked like him on beach. Unfortunately, I saw many people walking on the beach but not a single sun bathers there. Maybe it was too early or kind of chilly. At the same time, I was so surprised that Coconut RV was packed full. There were RVs parked almost on the beach. Therefore, I decided to paint the scene I saw there.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

En Plein Air: Red-Roof House (Oil 10 x 16)

I have known the house for quite a while because it is on my bike route. Also, I have harbored this idea of painting it for long. The house is located on a secluded corner of Louis Ave., very quiet for its one side is on the canal. Very little traffic. the whole view gives people a bucolic feeling even though it is not quite in the country. Yesterday, when I was riding my bike, I noticed it looked beautiful in the setting sun. That is why I went there in the afternoon. By the time I set up, it was past 3:30 PM, so basically I was painting into the effect. It took about two hours.
It belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Walters, who were very friendly and came over to watch me paint it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Alla Prima Portrait: Becky

Today, There was only one model at VAC, Punta Gorda. She was new to me. Her name is Becky, who lives in Punta Gorda. I got a corner position. It was almost a profile.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

En Plein Air: The Hut Tropical Garden and Artist Lori at Work

Yesterday afternoon when I was deciding where I should go the next day, I received a message from Penny who planned to teach her class at the Hut Tropical Garden and asked me if I was interested in joining them. That, of course, made my decision-making easier. However, I remembered the wrong time and arrived at the Hut earlier than scheduled, so I told myself "why not simply do a quick sketch?" Even though I painted the bridge before, it looked different this morning. I did it really quick, only an hour and a half.

When I finished the painting, Penny's group had already started their class. By the time I moved to their site, there was only an hour left before lunch time. After setting up, I got only a half hour. I decided to paint Lori because she was in the sun. Painting a figure in the sun was what was on my mind. I barely laid the outline and blocked in large chunks of color when lunch time came. We ate at the Hut restaurant. The food was good, but the lunch took a little too long. By the time we went back to the site, there was, again, one hour left before critique time. So I was really rushing it and, as you can tell, it was a second quick sketch of the day. I left the umbrella blank. I don't plan to finish it for I like the way it is.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Alla Prima Portrait: Biker Stan (Oil 20 x 16)

Stan is a regular model at Punta Gorda's VAC and we use him from time to time. Interestingly, whenever he was asked to sit for us, I had always set up for the other model and didn't want to move. Today, Stan came a little earlier than last time and I happened to begin the setup. Upon seeing him, I immediately moved to his site. At least everybody said I got the likeness. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ink Wash: Belly Dancer

I plan to do a set of dancers in ink wash. The following is the first one.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

En Plein Air: Wild Turkey Strand Preserved (Oil, 16 x 12)

Yesterday I went with Lee Plein Air Group to paint at Wild Turkey Strand Preserved. It was the first time I painted there even though it wasn't very far from home. It was overcast. Basically it was a piece of wilderness. You have to look very carefully to discover its beauty. it was just for a warm-up since I was back home.