Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Plein Air December 2018

Tree Study
Lakeview, Seattle 
Approx. 9x4 inches 
December, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Seattle Atelier (SA)

Class demo at Seattle Atelier, explaining tonal extensions, tonal relationships, tone key, multiple colors in five values and the order of visual importance. (Image features works by Max Meldrum, Percy Leason and John Singer Sargent.)
2014-2018 Seattle, WA


Saturday, March 10, 2018

JSS In Civita 2018

JSS in Civita Affiliate Course "Corot, Tonalism and the Roman Campagna" July 23-August 6, Civita Castellana, Italy.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Seattle Plein Air

SeattleTree Study II, oil on panel, 4x8 "
Painted on site, 18th and Cherry, Seattle. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

West Seattle Plein Air

3 1/2 x 8 inch pochade study, painted from life with handheld box, on the beach, in West Seattle.

Monday, April 10, 2017


I like going to this area, it's at the corner of Pike and Melrose in Seattle, in a parking lot overlooking I5, with my pochade to paint. This was done on a recent rainy day, a single morning's effort, and I'll be returning on the next rainy day to finish it.
"Gray Day, Radio Towers, Seattle"
April, 2017
6x8 inches
oil on cardboard

Monday, April 8, 2013


It's been a great Winter with all the students working very hard on their drawings and paintings and growing as artists.
I'm very much looking forward to working with many of them again this quarter.
The courses that I will be teaching at Gage this quarter are as follows:
Wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30pm
Beginning with rapid block-in exercises, students become relaxed with drawing the figure directly in oils in a limited palette.
The goal is to accurately record the gesture, balance and proportions and separate the figure into large simple, clear shapes.
After doing this a number of times the poses get longer and a couple colors at a time get added as students have more time to paint smaller plane changes and detail.
Short, explanatory, instructor demos begin nearly every class and get things rolling.

Thursday mornings 9:30am-12:30 pm

Beginning with exercises that explain the use of tone and line to convey depth, students gradually add the components of linear perspective to their work.
One-point, two-point and three-point perspective are covered as is the use of perspective in still life, portraiture and figure drawing.
A gradual immersion and one that is, at all times, geared toward image-making.

Friday evenings 6:30-9:30pm
In this course students begin with simple exercises on proportions and tonal rendering.
Mastering the basics is what it is all about and the lessons from each class are always repeated in every subsequent class.
The ideas are progressive and each lesson builds on the previous ones.
Clear assignments on the head and features go into detail so that students are aware of exactly what they are looking at, where it is in space, what shape it is and how to render it in a clear and pleasing manner.

Saturday mornings 10:00am-1:00pm

In this course students cover all the basics of painting a head in oils.
Plane changes, features and how to render them using tone and color are covered repeatedly throughout the course.
Explanatory instructor demos begin almost every session.
Optional homework assignments reinforce the weeks lessons and point to what's ahead in class.
Below are examples of weekly homework assignments executed by students.
We cover the use of a limited and full palette in class as well as introduce some glazing ideas at the end.
A popular and fun course and a great way to get your weekend off to a good start and get in some learning and painting time.
Saturday afternoons 2:00-5:00pm

A single pose for the full quarter gives students the chance to do a preparatory drawing, a small oil study and finally a formal portrait (at whatever scale they like).
It's perfect for beginners or experienced painters as it covers a lot of information about form, composition, rendering and color.
Thank you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturday afternoons at Gage Academy of Art
Seattle, WA

In this course students are given the chance to work from the portrait model for a 10 week long pose and thoroughly explore the model through the creation of preliminary drawings, studies and finally a formal portrait painting in oils .
No experience in necessary and fundamental concepts of drawing and painting as well as how to handle paints are covered throughout.
2:00-5:00 pm
1/19 - 3/23
Gage Academy of Art

Friday, June 1, 2012


Summer is always an exciting time for me at Gage because it means that I get to teach intensive introductory courses in foundation subjects and also offer some unique courses that are based on some pet passions of mine.
As a student at the Pennsylvania Academy there was often much discussion of, what in the medical field is referred to as, "continuity of services".
What this most often means for an art student is that one can create a series of progressively more in-depth courses with a particular instructor which will tie together and create an immersion in certain principles or an area of expertise which must be repeated in order to be mastered.
While I wholeheartedly believe in studying art a-la-carte and taking advantage of the great and impressive variety of knowledge and wisdom available, it is a great idea, at some point, to move seamlessly throughout a set of courses taught by a particular artist that represent a total approach.
Drawing exercises which easily lead into painting and painting exercises which form a continuation of drawing are what I believe in, teach and practice.
It is great to able to offer this particular set of classes which can be taken individually or as a short series or in preparation for longer classes in the Fall.
Following is a list of what I will be teaching.

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30

In this course students will get to work on 4 foot high drawing boards to render a 2/3rds life-sized, full-length figure drawing or a life-sized, partial figure.
Here is an image of some students (in my Portrait Studio course) at work on the boards.
The approach in this course will be tonal, meaning that students will work on brown kraft (or any other tinted) paper with a combination of charcoal and grey scale pastels to render the forms of the figure completely.
Here is an image from my regular Intermediate Figure Drawing course which approximates the intended effect of this course  (although this photo depicts a 40 minute study).
 This class will include the execution of smaller, preliminary gesture, block-in and tonal studies before a beginning the large scale drawings.
The pose will last for the full length of the course (5 weeks).
The clarity and sense of form that one can achieve by drawing a figure on a large scale is considerable and if you have never tried it, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.
Numerous demonstrations throughout will cover materials and techniques as well as method and goals.

Thursdays, 9:30-12:30

In this course students cover the planes of the head, the features and working with a limited palette to a fuller palette.
Practical color theory and mixing, palette management and medium usage are covered repeatedly and throughout the course.
Frequent instructor demonstrations SHOW you exactly what the goals of each exercise are and convey a lot of information which can not be verbally given.
Here are some images of student work and student's at work from this course.

Saturdays, 10:00-1:00

A thorough introduction to drawing portraits and ideally suited to those wishing to progress on to painting the portrait.
The approach of this course is tonal with an emphasis of seeing shapes of tone and understanding form and structure.
Here are some examples of student work done in this subject.

Saturdays, 2:00-5:00

A course which covers the strategies and most effective techniques and material usage for rendering a portrait study in a limited amount of time.
The emphasis is on alla prima painting (or painting in one go) and frequent demonstrations break down how best to approach this way of "drawing with paint".
The planes of the head, practical color theory, palette management, medium usage and rendering features are some of the major points which will be covered repeatedly.
Here are some images of students at work in this course.

Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30

As part of Summer session B at Gage (later in the Summer) this is the same course that is offered in Session A.

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30

In this class we will cover the essential information for rendering the figure from life, i.e., proportion, balance, gesture and the large, core forms of the torso, pelvis and the extremities.
The approach is simple and clear and the goal is to see from large to small, seeing large shapes in their correct position in space and adding detail.

Frequent demonstrations and hand outs which cover and review each lesson and include material for independent study make up this essential introductory course.

Thursdays, 9:30-12:30

A great chance to recreate the works of this perennial favorite and one of the most influential masters of painting.
In a clear and logical series of steps each student will be given hands-on experience in understanding and developing a copy of the work of Caravaggio.
There is no way that these ideas and techniques will not influence the way that you paint (as they have been influencing other artists for centuries) and make your work richer and more dramatic at the same time that they provide you with additional options for approaching subject matter.

Hope that you can join us!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Here are my regular Saturday morning portrait painting in oils students at work.
The class has been going well with everyone working (so far) on classroom and homework assignments in a limited palette, to understand some principles of drawing with the paint and refining an image in successive passes.
                                             Here are last weeks homework assignments.
They have progressed from planar studies of the head (the Sargent and Eakins copies shown here were one part of those assignments) to rendering shapes of color within the light mass.
They are a hard working group (it is a full capacity class) and we have been making rapid progress through the fundamentals.
Additionally, the Saturday pm class, Portrait Painting Studio, has been moving along well.
This image, by Steve Momi, is a head study done in preparation for the larger works to be executed in the class.
It is not an indirect approach (glazing a monochrome under-painting),  but, in order to better understand the convenience of working on a darker ground, students work with a severely limited palette at first.
The emphasis is, at first, on rendering form before expanding to a full palette.
Here's the pose, it is being held for the full 10 weeks by Tess and students have done charcoal head studies, compositional drawings, large scale (30x40) drawings in charcoal, small head studies in oils and are about to begin working on 30x40" canvases of the pose.
We are, due to cancellations, only in our 4th week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Time flies and it's been too long since I've taken the time to write about what has been happening in the classrooms and studio.
This one was a real treat to get to teach.
The pose was 10 weeks long and students executed charcoal drawings, oil sketches and 1:1 contour drawings (which they transferred onto  their 30"x40" canvases).
Additionally they were working on a dark ground with set palettes in a slightly indirect way.
(Pictured above are model, Lessa Lamb and, L to R, artists Julie Hougham and Dorje Bellbrook)
Here are Aron Hart and Zooey England at work on their portraits of Lessa Lamb in week #6 (of 10).
My regular Portrait Painting in Oils (for beginners/all levels) which has met every Saturday morning for the past several years has also been going very well.
And there was an exhibition of the student's work in my Perspective for Painters class.
In this class, students deal with the problems that a painter is mainly concerned with when seeking to render or check their renderings by using traditional perspective systems, with an emphasis on tonal drawing.
The assignments explore and dissect historic works with an eye to incorporating the information acquired to create personal works from life.
The image above is an example of what students are doing by week #2 (one point perspective with an emphasis on atmospheric effects) and the image below is from week #3 (the interior of St Marks, Seattle. Also one point perspective with an emphasis on atmospheric effects).
Additionally my classes on Figure Painting in Oils and Drawing for Beginners have also been going quite well.
(Lessa Lamb posing)
This weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a three-day Portrait Sketch in Oils workshop at Gage Academy, here in Seattle.
It was a full capacity crowd and students executed rapid studies (with me shifting the light and the model changing position) every morning and longer poses every afternoon.
Day one was grisaille, day two was limited palette and day three was full palette. The models ranged greatly in age and coloration so there was a lot of emphasis on gradually expanding the palette.
I demonstrated at the outset of the session every morning and afternoon.
There will be many more classes and workshops of this sort in the next 6 months and I will try to write about them before, during and after.
Two hour grisaille study by workshop student Heidi Aubrey.