Sunday, August 21, 2005

Charcoal portraits



I go to Sisters, Oregon once
a year to touch base with the Draft horse crowd. Teamsters, young and old. Wannabe's and worn out hands that come together to BS and load up on Draft horse gear or sell some of their collection. Some folks are into it for a hobby and others make their living with horses, farming, logging or hauling people. One of the things I've noticed is how many of us old duffers wear spectackles and grey beards.
It's a great time put on by Lynn and Christy Miller that publish "The Small Farmer's Journal", www.smallfarmersjournal.com.
I hope to do a painting with many of the faces that frequent the show. It will be fun to see the reaction of the guys when they discover a painting with their mugs in it. Hope it turns out.


I re-discovered charcoal from the artist Scott Burdick who does wonderful portraits. He and his wife Susan use powdered charcoal and a brush. It's probably an old technique but something that is new to me. Working with a brush allows me to work slow and find the image. Some folks use water with the brush but I haven't got that down although I use it for final details like the lines around the eyes and the eyes themselves. You have to be careful as it doesn't erase. I also have a problem getting things dark enough. The powdered charcoal builds up and is hard to remove from the surface without getting it all over. I just workout the, "fortunate accidents."

I got Burdick's DVD on oil painting. I learned a lot and find that DVD's are a great tool to learn from and hope to get more. Drawing out an idea is essential for studio work. I don't consider myself any good at portraits but I'm having fun trying. The internet is also an incredible tool that didn't exist a few years ago when I was painting up a storm. Last night I surfed over to www.internationalmastersoffineart.com and discovered Michael Stack who does clouds like I would like to be able to do. They've got a great stable of artists and online gallery.

I keep painting everday. I'm trying to get things on Ebay but they require a credit card which I don't care to have but might have to get if I am going to peddle things online. I sold some work in 93 or so. Didn't do to bad for prices. It's a little scary but is a way to find a home for some of my stuff. It's pretty neat to be able to live in Paradise of the Reservation and eke out a living of sorts.

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