Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Steven - 1.5 hour life study - 9"x12"; oil
Here is another head study I did for my head painting class. This one took a little over an hour and a half and once again used the Anders Zorn palette that I described in a previous post. I premixed a number of hues and values with the three color palette Focusing on the "secondary" colors and hues and then went at the painting very directly. This model was painted under natural light and the subtle warms and cools were an interesting challenge. There are things I wish I had time to refine such as the eyes, but this was a fun exercise.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bob Ross Rocks

Painter Bob Ross was an inspiration for thousands of aspiring artists  through his long running PBS show. Whether I liked his work or not ( I sometimes did) I admired his enthusiasm and encouraging manner. I also must give credit to him for building a huge TV audience as well as a multi-million dollar art supply empire that continues to this day, more than a decade after his untimely death from cancer in 1995. Bob Ross was only 52. PBS just released  an homage in video that celebrates his quirky methods and personality. I got a real kick out of the video- have a look. It makes me want a Bob Ross t-shirt for Christmas.

More Bob Ross on Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Color Blocking Exercise

In my head painting class I had the students (and myself) undertake a color blocking exercise. The canvas was marked off in a grid of one inch squares. Rather than worry about the drawing of the head, the goal was to mix the average color and value for the zone that fell within each square of the grid. If you squint, you can see the face. I was surprised how much more I concentrated on creating the exact color and the painting took nearly as long as I usually spend on an actual head study. Once again the color palette was the Zorn palette of cad red light, yellow ochre, ivory black and white. This was definitely a hit as far as exercises go and several of the students have opted to do it on more than one day. If you have never done this, give it a shot.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zorn Palette Exercise 2

Malaysia - Oil; 9" x 12" by Greg Newbold
A few posts back I talked a bit about the palette used by Anders Zorn. I explored this palette a bit more last week during class and was much more pleased with the result this time. I pushed the color further to see how much more range I could pull from the limited colors of Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black and White. It was also interesting to practice painting a more ethnic model. I focused on  premixing my colors a little more and putting the paint down very directly. I spent about an hour on this study as I have about a dozen students I am helping during the three hour class block. Even given the time restraint, I am pretty pleased with the result. The range of color continues to surprise me and I am looking forward to playing around with this limited palette more in the future.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aunt Mame's Sheep - Finished

Aunt Mame's Sheep - Oil; 18.75" x 11' by Greg Newbold
Just finished up this painting for a private commission. the buyers are my Aunt and Uncle and the place and subject mean a lot to me. I spent countless afternoons after school taking care of these animals on my Aunt Mame's property. This scene portrays the upper end of the property in the part of the pasture we called "the grove" since we had annual family Easter weekend barbecues up under the shade of the trees. It's always a fun thing to depict something that is so close to my heart and I admit I will miss this one when I deliver it to them later this week. My wife says I will now need to do another version of this subject for our house. Fine with me.
See the progression of this painting here

Friday, July 6, 2012

Suspend Disbelief

Any book or movie that falls into the fantasy genre demands that you suspend disbelief and just sit back and enjoy the story. I think it would also be pretty cool to be able to suspend magical flames in my hand and then send them flying like the character in this book.The painting above is from a series of covers I did for the Chestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones.

The book is called The Lives of Christopher Chant and you can still get it, though the series of covers I did has been phased out and the books are now packaged with different covers. It's a bummer that most books that hang around for any length of time get the face lift treatment, but such is life. It was fun to do so many covers for the same author and series though. I think I did seven or eight Wynne Jones covers over a period of a couple of years.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless America

Young Washington- for Boys' Life Magazine

Last night I had an interesting experience that reminded me why I feel so blessed to be an American. We were at the airport welcoming home a family member when my brother in law struck up a conversation with a soldier in uniform. Turns out he was making his way home for a surprise visit with his family and his ride from the airport had fallen through. We had room in our van and his destination wasn't that far out of our way, so I offered to give him a lift. During the drive I learned a lot about this man named Tim. I learned that he was a 36 year military veteran currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. That he was a Major and that he had recently served a year long deployment to Afghanistan. But what impacted me more than his record of dedicated service was the fact that he was not born an American citizen. Tim told us the story of how he was born in South Africa and moved to the United States with his family when he was sixteen. He shared his love for this country and it's unlimited possibilities. He recalled that on seventeenth birthday, which coincidentally falls on the fourth of July,  he hiked to the top of Mt. Olympus. This ten thousand foot peak overlooks the Salt Lake Valley and there he watched the fireworks and marveled at how great this country is. Shortly thereafter, he made the commitment to serve his newly adopted nation and has been protecting our freedom ever since. He told us of how different things are in all the places he served and how so many of us take for granted the life we enjoy here. After arriving at the home of a friend where was to borrow a car to make it home, I thanked him for his service and wished him well. the drive home was filled with contemplation and gratitude. I needed that encounter to remind me that freedom is not free and how grateful we should be to live in this land and for the valiant men and women who safeguard our families and liberty. Thank you Tim and God Bless America!