Devil in the details

I visited my friend Liz in New York a couple weeks ago and did this quickie of her reading the paper at a coffee shop.


Liz (pencil)

And last Saturday I drew this tree in the Boston Public Garden.

Public Garden

Public Garden (pencil)

Now I want to try to catch up and show what I’ve been working on over the year. I started my oil-painting class last June, so let’s go sequentially from there.

The first assignment in class was a value painting, using only black, white, and one color. We had to copy from this one particular photo in a book. I chose burnt umber (but I think I used raw umber when I went back to finish it in the second class!).


Pears (oil on canvas board)

I think the nasturtiums must have been the second painting I did last year. I took this picture at some point of near completion and gave the painting to my mother before taking a finished photo. It’s just 5 x 7 inches. This one marks my fatal plunge into minute detail. The pears value study didn’t give me the chance because it was such a simple photo, but when I started working from my own photos, all was lost. I got into the habit of trying to copy every detail of my photos picture and I’ve been struggling against that ever since. You’ll see.


Nasturtiums (oil on canvas board)

Here’s my oldest drawing. It’s from a class in college, and the paper is stained and crumbling so I framed it behind glass, hence the reflections, sorry. That’s a nice big one, 18 by 24 inches I guess.


Garlic (charcoal on paper)