Friday, February 28, 2014

"Helen" Oil Figure Study

 Another open studio day at Patris Studio and Gallery.  The rain came down in torrents at times.  Inside the studio there were only four painters plus Helen, our model.  It was warm and peaceful.  The sound of the rain on the roof was soothing and welcome in our drought parched valley.

This was another 2 to 21/2 hour oil sketch.  Good practice.  Once again I felt that the morning was successful.  I've fallen in love with the Isabey Mongoose Brights that I have and this evening I ordered several more, including some new sizes.  The chisel shape is wonderful and the feel of the brush on oil primed linen is magic.

Helen   Oil Sketch on Linen   16" x 12"

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Bella" An Oil Portrait

This painting is from a photograph.  I really enjoy doing portraits and when the subject is as beautiful and the pose as striking as this young woman, it becomes a special journey.  I've read many artists who say that in order to do their best, they must feel a connection to the matter whether it is a portrait or a landscape or a still life.  I couldn't agree more.  Whenever I force a painting simply because I should paint "something", I usually have a less than successful effort.  I suppose every painting is a lesson worth experiencing, but when there is a connection to the subject matter, it becomes special.

It would only be a slight exaggeration to say that for a while, I fell in love with Bella, the subject of this painting.  I couldn't resist that "look" would melt an iceberg.  Although I only had a photograph as a source, painting Bella was a joy...and good for an old painter's soul. 

Bella    oil on stretched canvas   16" x 16" 

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Red Dress

It's been months since I've attended an open studio figure painting session.  I miss the experience and the opportunity to paint from life, so I finally got my act together.   On Friday morning, I attended a session at Patris Studio and Art Gallery in Oak Park.   (  It's been a while since I have visited Patris's wonderful new location as well, so this was a doubly productive morning.  Patris's Studio is also where the upcoming workshop with the fabulous Qiang Huang
(Chong Wong) will be held.  I can't wait for that one and the opportunity to meet this fabulous artist and human being. ( )

This was a three hour session, but I probably have about two hours total into this 16" x 12" painting.  I felt good about the outcome.  Workshops and more frequent painting are combining to give me more confidence in tackling and completing a study like this.  I feel more like I know what to do next....a bit more in control.   Much more practice on simple proportions is obviously needed, but the execution of the painting - given the time constraints - felt planned and controlled.

I'm looking forward to attending Patris's open studios more often.

The Red Dress   Oil on stretched canvas   16" x 12"

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Howard's Mill - Watercolor

Rain has finally come to Northern California.  We are in a severe drought situation, so it is very welcome.  My artist friend Howard Rees and I had arranged to paint outdoors on Saturday, but the rain drove us inside Howard's studio...where Howard had set up a complete watercolor station for both of us.   I had my own personal Howard Rees watercolor workshop.  Howard is an accomplished watercolor painter, so it was a very informative rainy day activity.  I painted from a photo of a painting Howard had done some time ago.  He painted the same scene so I followed step by step as much as I could.

I made lots of mistakes.  Years of oil painting have to be set aside in favor of more carefully controlled watercolor techniques.  My biggest sin in watercolor is to paint too fast.  Watercolor requires some careful thinking before you begin and as you proceed.  It is a wonderful medium much different than oil.  I had a great day in Howard's studio, learned a lot and did this painting.  I look forward to the next attempt.  Hopefully, I'll do a little better.

I call this Howard's Mill.  I don't even know if it is a mill, but who cares?  Thanks for a good day Howard.

Howard's Mill   Watercolor on 15" x 22" Arches Rough

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Red Fence In Locke -- Plein Air

Today the Sacramento Plein Air Painters met in Locke.  It was a beautiful morning, but cold in the shade.  After about an hour and one half working on this painting, I had to stand in the sun for 30 minutes to thaw out!  I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly most of the rest of the country, this weather would be very welcome.

 Sometimes I find myself wandering in Locke.  It is so incredibly fascinating and unique that it's difficult to settle on something to paint.  But today I arrived a bit late so I set up fairly quickly.  I made a quick pencil sketch and felt like I had a good feel for what I wanted to paint.  I made a real effort to keep things simple.  I think it worked out well.

A Red Fence in Locke   12" x 16" oil on canvas   Plein Air

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art