Figure This Out

As an artist, can you tell me how tall this figure is? I painted this standing model and her portrait as a demonstration for my Go Figure: Painting People in Watercolor Class at the Art Students League of Denver. The colors I used to mix her skin tones are cadmium red, yellow ochre, cobalt violet, cerulean blue, and rose dore. For her blond hair, I used cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna. For her jeans, I mixed gray and also used cerulean blue and ultramarine blue. Clothing and fabrics in general are a challenge for artists and I teach a simple approach in this class. Throughout art history artists have used figure drawing and painting to improve their skill at painting a

Turn On The Light

Autumn and Indian Summer in the mountains are exciting times for an artist. The sunlight is gorgeous as it comes through the trees and lights up the fall colors. This painting was done in Steamboat Springs and I am heading up there this week to teach a plein air workshop. I lived there for ten years and it is always exciting to go home again. The aspen trees which appear white at first are actually full of color and I used yellow ochre, cobalt violet, and raw sienna for the lighter areas and burnt sienna mixed with ultramarine blue for the darker bark. The color scheme is predominately warm and the deep greens in the evergreen trees are used as accents to counter balance the Autumn col

Painting A Dream

Today was the last day of my Botanic Gardens Watercolor Workshop and I would like to thank everyone who came out to paint with me. The gardens are gorgeous and our only difficulty was choosing among all the beautiful possibilities. We painted sunflowers, hollyhocks, roses, lilies, leaves of different colors, lots of other flowers that I can't name and even the magnificent Rodin Sculpture that is perfectly displayed in the gardens. My demonstrations from the weekend will appear in future emails as I get them loaded onto this sight. The painting above is one from my large floral series and it is owned by Kaiser Permanente and on display at their Lone Tree Hospital. Sunflowers have long be

Can You Smell The Flowers?

I spotted these hollyhocks while wandering through Denver Botanic Gardens and decided to use them to frame the left side of my composition. They draw you into the painting where you discover the other flowers and the two human figures. Because of the attention to detail in the hollyhocks, I was able to suggest the other flowers with simple bits of color. The dark cool green trees in the distance were used to pop out the lighter colors in the two figures. This is the principle of placing a dark value next to a light value to command attention. The hollyhocks were painted with lemon yellow and cobalt violet and the dark background trees are a mixture of olive green and ultramarine blue.

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