Monday, December 19, 2011


A couple of recent studies from classes at LAA:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

two drawings

These are two sketches from this week from classes at the Lyme Art Association:

A.T. Van Laer

This is a charcoal drawing I own by the artist A.T. Van Laer (1857-1920). It has quite darkened with age but I love its mysterious and somber tones.

Here is a photograph of the artist. A native of New York, he studied during his formative years in Holland where he was heavily influenced by Dutch painting. Later in his life he lived and worked in Northwestern Connecticut:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

the white pitcher /oil sketch

This is a small 5"x6" oil sketch of a larger painting I am working on. I've already done a colored pencil version here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Singing Boy

Jack Montmeat "The Singing Boy" oil on linen on panel 10"x12" 2011

And here is a photograph of the model with his portrait in the early stages:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

figure study

a preparatory sketch for a figure painting we are doing in class:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

late summer on the lieutenant river

This a landscape I just finished that I had been working on whenever possible for the last month:

I started it with a pencil line drawing:

Friday, September 23, 2011

portrait commission

This is a small portrait commssion I painted about two years ago as a gift. The setting is South America:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

man with a fish

This is a large commissioned painting from a few years ago. I was looking at alot of the 20th century Russian painting, with the large brush strokes and stark realism.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

baby jack

a sketch from a few days ago, sleeping in his car seat:

pelvis study

I have always found the pelvis one of the most difficult shapes to draw and I always admire artists who can draw it out of their head in any position. As Robert Beverly Hale said, "all lines run over conceived form"-meaning without a thorough understanding of the shape, one cannot draw it. With this in mind, I set up a pelvis for my class to draw, with particular emphasis on understanding of the planes that make up each half (called os innominatum, "the bone with no name", which actually looks like a propeller blade). This is my page of demos:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

class progression

This are some examples of the projects we might do in the first few classes in my private sessions at LAA.
1. Starting with copying from plates; in this case eyes from the Bargue Book. The goal is to accurately identify angles.

2. Blocking out the contour. The idea is to transfer the lesson above to sketching a cast from life, leaving out the inner shapes:

3. Then, developing more of the inner shapes, and blocking out the basic shadow shapes:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

profile handout

This is a handout on drawing profiles. Profiles are one of the first things I learned to draw-and they are a bit easier than most angles, because if you draw the profile line accurately, than you are sure to have a good likeness:

Friday, August 5, 2011

class demos

These are a couple of demos from portrait drawing class. We were dealing mostly with the correct shape of the face, the "basic frame" or "envelope":

These next three are from basic drawing class, dealing with correct shapes, using plaster casts:

Monday, August 1, 2011

drawing on toned paper

Drawing on toned paper is a good idea in life-class because the middle tones are already taken care of. You can go darker with the charcoal and heighten with a white pencil. These are a couple of recent demos from LAA portrait class:

These next three are from a few years ago. The warm paper is Canson "bisque" color. I find that this offers a warm undertone to the cold black charcoal and cold white pencil. I find it is good to not isolate the charcoal from the white, but to let them mix and overlap:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

class handouts

I enjoy making these handouts for my classes to help explain specific concepts. The one on the illustrates starting a portrait with the "basic frame" and working the detail over this. The handout on the right discusses a specific feature, the eye:

Also, I was taught the concept of the "basic frame" from my teacher Arthur Wang at Columbus College of Art and Design. He is a great draughtsman and teacher and I took his class for a few years. His website is here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

the singing boy

This is a compositional drawing for a painting I am hoping to do at some point. It will be called "The Singing Boy", a theme I have been wanting to paint for a while. My son is the model:

Friday, July 8, 2011

class sketch

Just a quick demo schematic drawing from class at LAA intending to stress the linear aspect of the composition. I have found that it helps to think in terms of "picture-making" when planning out your painting:

Monday, June 20, 2011

still-life with brandy glass

I decided to try a small colored pencil study before beginning the oil version. It is 5"x5.5". It is the first time I have used the medium since this figure study.

Also, the painter Claudio Bravo died earlier this month, on June 4th. He was one of my favorite artists. I went to his exhibition last fall at Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea. I didn't know that it would be his last show. Check out his website:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

two new still-life sketches

This is a still-life pencil drawing I am finishing at the LAA studio:

And this is a compositional drawing for a still-life painting I am working on in my studio. It is a little bit trickier in that the final painting will be 16"w x 14"h. However, I drew it somewhat smaller, at 15"w. But I found that this website helped a lot, as I was able to type in the drawing's width (15"), along with the reproduction height and width (16"x14"), and it gave me the missing height of 13.125" to use on my drawing. It also gave me the enlargement percentage of 106.6% to use in my transfer:

Friday, June 3, 2011

sketch of baby jack

a quick drawing of baby jack, done while he was asleep in his car seat, in pen and crayon...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

florence drawings

I went to Florence, Italy for a couple of days to get some inspiration, and to do some sketching. The Uffizi, Pitti Palace, and the Accademia had very long lines stretching around the building so I didn't go to those, but other museums in Florence are virtually empty. Places like:

The Museum of the opera di Santa Maria del Fiore:

The Medici Chapel:

and the Bargello.

I took one day to see the Tuscan countryside, here's a quick sketch:

Also, I recommend highly the hotel I stayed at, the Soggiorno Michelangelo Hotel. It is just north of the Accademia. I was welcomed by Oscar, who runs the establishment, and the accommodations couldn't have been better, or more quiet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jack Jr.

My son Jack was born three weeks ago. He is quite fun to draw as he sleeps for long stretches. The "Jum-Jum" is a nickname that his older brother gave him which I liked very much.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

completed "still life in red"

This is the finished painting, "Still-life in Red", size 12"x12", oil on linen. It is larger than the oil sketch shown a few posts back and more carefully modelled, but very similar in color.

Also, this is a two session demo figure drawing from class at LAA:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

small still-life drawings

These are four small compostional sketches drawn at the Lyme Art Association. They are done in a few hours each with the goal of creating an interesting composition out of a quickly set-up still-life arrangment. With any composition, one should walk around the room examining the subject from every view-point before deciding on an angle to work from:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

still-life in red

This is a just completed 5"x5" oil sketch painted in my studio with natural light: