Greetings yet again MC community! Whew! So much going on in the world these days…Hard to keep up. Haven’t been painting a whole bunch lately. Haven’t been particularly inspired to do much personal work.  just feels like I don’t have any ideas worth pursuing right now.

Buuut I’ve also got this OCD where I need to keep making stuff or go nuts. Its times like this I’ve found can be good for technical experimentation. The kids are cute and make reliable subjects, and they growing up so fast, figured I’d some portraits of them. For a few days,  I followed them around with my camera, shooting tons of pictures. In the end, I chose to really push the different lighting situations for each, which opened the opportunity up to tackle each a bit differently.

MELVIN, 8: pretty straightforward portrait shot in my studio under artificial light.  Melvin is a bright, engaging boy with unique mind and well developed sense of humor. I liked this shot of him where he’s looking at the viewer with a subtle smirk. I painted it directly, mostly one pass with a few minor adjustments in a second sitting. I used a traditional “mud palette” and mostly long Egbert brushes. I think I spent the least time on this one, and in ways I like it the most. Not sure what to think about that heh.


MILTON, 5 : shot outside under indirect light. Milton is a sweet mischievous little fellow. There is depth and wisdom in him that leaves me awestruck sometimes. I very rarely paint people smiling in portraits unless theres some narrative need for it. I think that it can detract from the more subtle emotion you might find in a more subdued expression. Buuut he has such a sweet smile and I felt like this shot captured him really well so I went for it. The softer lighting was a real challenge, and required a much more layered approach, where after a light sanding, I glazed the shadows in a few passes.Did a fair amount of dry brushing as well. Don’t think its done, its but the likeness is there and I think I can get it where it needs to be.

ELLE, 2: shot in my studio with in late afternoon sunlight. Elle is such a warm funny spirit, but she’s still also full-on in her terrible twos. She can be the sweetest thing in the world one minute, and the next second she’s melting down because you got her the wrong colored spoon or you closed the back door when “she wanted to do it”… I’d be more worried that she’s turning into this demanding monster but it’s kid number three and I now know its a phase they grow out of. Thought this shot captured her well and offered some unique challenges value-wise. I’ve worked in a variety of approaches on this one, using some wet in wet to render the more subtle areas like the face, and a lot of dry brushing on the clothing and background. This one also feels like its got a way to go, and has the potential to be either the most successful one or the one I hate…guess we’ll find out eventually!

TREASURE X, -.3: We are expecting a boy this October, and while we haven’t come up with a proper name for him yet, Milton has temporarily named him “treasure x”…but hey who knows maybe it’ll stick. I wasn’t able to shoot reference of him because he hasn’t been born yet 😛 so I used a recent ultrasound instead. Painted a lot of this in acrylics because I wanted to splatter and stipple and build up a noisy surface quickly. Came in at the end with some oils, but it’s probably 80% acrylic. Also, due to the mechanical nature of the reference, I opted out of hand painting all of the text and graphic stuff, and instead laid it it in photoshop, and then had Melissa use her Cricut machine to cut me a stencil which I painted with spray paint. Had to go back in here and there to paint the holes in the letters and stuff.  If you’re a purist its kind of cheating I guess? But I like how it turned out.

Can’t wait til he’s born so I can do a new big family portrait. Last one was almost 3 years ago so it’s time.

Hang in there and stay safe everybody.