Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Head Study 053012"

I did this head study last night with the Bee Cave Painters in south Austin. The organizer of this group is Eric Rhoads. Eric is well known in the fine art world. He is the owner of the Plein Air Magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur. A group of artists have been going to Eric's house located at Bee Cave, Texas on Wednesday nights. We paint portraits. Most of my head studies have been done there. Last night was the last gathering for this spring, then we have a summer break. We had wine and snacks, a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"A Lonely Drummer" --- Sold

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Now I feel more comfortable with my accuracy of capturing the figure. So today I worked more on modeling. I am relatively tight today to give the painting a more classic look. I am experiencing the subtlety of modeling the figure. This part is not very hard, but it is really time consuming. I feel I have gained more control on figure painting now. It is really a good day for me.

I did this painting from a photo I took at the Eeyore's Birthday party I mentioned earlier. There were many people play drums. I will paint more of them.

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Raining in a Small Town" --- Sold

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This is my second small figurative painting. I am still working on the fundamental work, which is the accuracy of the human form and the proportion. The artistic aspects of the painting are quite secondary. I would like to work on the improvement  of my human form rendering for a while until I feel satisfied with my accuracy. I am not there yet, so I want to do more this kind of exercises.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Spinning" --- Sold

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I am entering a new genre: narrative figurative. It is much harder than still life paintings. To paint human form accurately is not easy. I have spent almost entire day today to paint this 6" x 8". I hope the quality of my figurative paintings can go beyond my still lives.

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Head Study 052312" --- Sold

After seeing Fongwei off, I started my technical consulting week. My mode has been shifted to mathematics, but I still try my best to find time to paint. I did this head study on wednesday night. I deliberately make the painting a little tighter, and spent a large amount of time modeling the details. I have really enjoyed the paintings I did recently, and start to see progresses. I don't know how long I can last doing head and figure studies. This kind of work is not as marketable as still life paintings. However, I understand what I am doing is very important if I want to develop my art to a higher level.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Head Study 052012"

After all artists started painting on the third day of Fongwei's workshop, I set up my easel at a spot nobody chosen. It was a very challenge one. I have not done any head study from this angle before. I don't see much face features and I have no idea how to paint hair. After quite a struggle, I got this one. It is not too bad I think. I kind of like the hair I did.

Monday, May 21, 2012


On the second day of Fongwei's workshop, one of the models didn't show up. So my son Jonathan came and modeled for the class. I did this quick sketch. I have painted him from photo before, but this one is my first one painted from live. I feel grateful for the workshop, because I don't think my teenage boy will sit for me alone. He did great. I can imagine how difficult for a hyperactive 15 year old to sit still.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Head Study 051812"

My friend Fongwei Liu came from California. He is teaching a figure workshop here in Austin. Song and I are busy assisting him taking care of the logistics. I had some time in the afternoon. so I did this head study. I was quite far from the model, so I couldn't get into the details. I wish I have the ability to provide more information from my brain to make the painting more complete, but I can only paint what I see. Fongwei is a great artist and a wonderful teacher. The workshop is going very well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Onions and Jar"

I did this 9" x 12" today. I am still in middle of a big effort of organizing my life. So my painting is in a not very consistent stage. Please be patient with me. I think this is part of life. We all run into issues. Let me have some time, and I will progress.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Figure Study 051112"

Figure painting is my final goal in my relatively new art career. As a matter of fact, I started painting about 15 years ago, my genre was portrait and figure. I realized very quickly the figure is the most difficult thing to paint. I don't have much time, so I move to still life. I think I did the right thing, because I get to artistic part of painting very quickly instead of struggling with anatomy and perspectives. Many years have passed, and now it is time to confronting figure painting again. In order to progress in a more controlled way, I thought about technology again. This figure study I did was not from a model neither from a photo.  It was painted from a 3D computer model. I downloaded a 3D human model software from The model is not perfect, but it is good enough. I got the proportion and perspective rather accurately with a lot of measurement. But I feel the form is very hard because I have not done enough and I don't know anatomy much. It is first time I painted collar bones in detail. I was really tired after about 4 hours. I know the shoulder still needs a lot of work, and so do arms, hands, legs and feet. Well, I will reserve them for my future projects.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Out of the Holodeck"

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Feels good doing small paintings again. This one is my warm up. I hope to keep the momentum (or mode) going for a while so I can improve. Coming back from Atlanta. I did not resume painting right away, but instead I was working on my "life management". When I was a full time engineer, I didn't have much life. (To be more accurate, my life was sold to someone else). I did what I had been told. Everyday is pretty much the same routine. Since I left the company (out of the Holodeck), I am on my own. I need to make many decisions, paint, teach, and run my business. I have been doing all these work based on purely my intuition. My brain is the main memory and reminder of all my activities. Very soon, I have realized I am not a good manager. I can organize relatively small projects, such as how to conduct my workshops, but not big ones and too many. This is a big problem. If I keep going, my poor management could ruin my life, which I just got back. I mentioned earlier that I was learning GTD and using iCal trying put my life together again. But I wasn't serious enough and too busy, My system never worked. The thing is getting worse day by day. I missed my OPA and OPS shows this year, and constantly chasing last minute tasks. Doing small daily paintings regularly? Forget it! You have seen all of these things happened right in front of you.

Now I am getting really serious. I spent two entire days read through the whole GTD book, and search on the Web for practical ideas. I found a new Application called "Evernote", and spent another couple of days learning how to use it with GTD. Now I have got a sort of "system" on my Mac and start to use it. Men! "Business management" is a cult. it occupies you completely. (If you are perfectionist, you will suffer more.) I was like a zombie for these few days. Now I have new management system on my computer. Does it work? we will see.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Demo at Atlanta 2012 2" --- Sold

For the second Demo as usual, I painted roses.  Rose is very hard to paint if you think you are painting roses. However, if you think you are only paint forms, shapes and edges, it is will be much easier. Squint as much as you can and observe where the dark is and where the light is. Place your stroke with confidence, and then leave them alone. Very soon your rose will smile to you.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Demo at Atlanta 2012 1" --- Sold

Greeting from Atlanta, GA. I am teaching a workshop here. I want to thank Donna Thomas for organizing this wonderful workshop, and all the artists coming from all over to see me. This is the demo painting I did yesterday. The orange with a yellow ribbon around it is organic, and the other one is not. Well,  they aren't much different to me. For my painting, they are all light manipulators, I don't even care if they are oranges or not.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Head Study 050212"

I did this head study last night. The model was a very beautiful high school junior. I had some hard time to get the shape of her face right, and I need more work on the nose and mouth. I took this photo with my iPhone, it is not back except a little blurry. In any event, it was a fun evening. I surely enjoyed portrait painting. I can't wait to do more.