Friday, June 16, 2017


Watercolor is both hard and easy. It's a fairly easy medium to use yet takes a lot of mastery to make it worth your while. I admire the watercolor artists I see on Facebook, especially those who make landscape/urban art, maybe because I don't know how to do those. Anyway, as I want to learn doing portraits first, I'll stick with this genre for today. My art journal offering is of Sylvester Stallone (an artist/expressionist himself) as Rocky. I slaved over the skin-tone for an hour from 5 in the morning to 6 am...or was it earlier? I didn't want to treat it loose and transparent afraid I wasn't going to capture his likeness at all.  As usual, there's room for improvement but I'm learning. I must say Holbein WC is good even when used thickly and opaque.

Not to self: I noticed I choose my reference pictures carefully. Otherwise, how do I keep my inspiration while I attain likeness? I have to keep this in mind though for my future projects.

P.S. RIP John Avildsen, Director of both Rocky and The Karate Kid.

I think I penciled a good likeness of Rocky.
But look how dramatic a simple sketch turns when painted in!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wonder Woman

It's hard to do portraits for sure but I feel challenged to do it every time I see a face worth painting.  I think I have done my entire family in oil in the 1990's.  Problem is, I haven't done many in my art career and I haven't really practiced doing it recently and with a little shoulder discomfort, I'm afraid I'm not as accurate as before.  So, how do you capture a beautiful, inspiring face on paper or canvas?  I'm referring to my dilemma of translating current worldwide sensation Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) first into watercolor.

Answer:  Just do it and enjoy your work I guess.  This particular WC does not capture the full gorgeousness of Gadot especially if I put my reference side by side with my artwork but I can say I'm happy with the similarity or my particular version of her and I really enjoyed doing another face using my newly-rediscovered medium of choice.  I used high-quality Holbein watercolor tubes and they turned out pretty well on my 8"x 5" Moleskine even though I didn't think they would!  Anyway, I'm so excited to share this with the world.  It may not be perfect but it's not bad either.  Not bad at all!  As a matter of fact, despite its many imperfections, I love it!  I love portraits!
Gal Gadot
"Hey Chris, they asked me who I thought would win in a battle between Wonder Woman and Thor.
I think Wonder Woman, what about you?"

Below are Photoshopped-added effects:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

KOIS Step by Step

A world of oranges

Cyan Blue, Black and White

Kois are fun and done!

10"x 14" Double Kois

8"x 10" Single Koi

Friday, June 2, 2017

Lazy Artist (No More!)

There are typically two types of art students from a teacher's empirical observation. The talented/lazy one and the diligent/untalented one.  I'm what they call a "lazy artist".  I have the talent for doing art, sure!  Problem with that is I leave things to chance when I can be the master of my own fate, in other diligent in one's work and have absolute control with its outcome, whatever that may be.  For e.g. I paint as quickly as I can and be happy or unhappy with it without being mindful of fine tuning my work.  I can do an acrylic painting on canvas in just one day and get done with it!  In other words, forget about it!  Sometimes, I even scare myself out of my Roof Studio cutting my painting time!  Silly me :-)

Now, I have decided to embark on a daily art journal where I have to do at least one artwork a day, and not spend the afternoons sleeping.  Yes, I sleep most afternoons which is why I probably have trouble sleeping at nights.  (Long story.  Even if you had the chance, please don't ask me why!)  For this reason, I have revived my aging yet empty Moleskine WC Notebook to do mostly aquarelle art.  Maybe this is why I bought it in the first place.  It just occurred to me that now is the best time to use it if for no other reason than being "awake" aka alive in the afternoons!

So this morning, I did "2 colorful birds" using the not-so-favorably-reviewed Pebeo WC. Anyway, the paper on this notebook is not the best one either.  Nevertheless, I hope you all like it!  Remember, the quota is one-a-day, like the vitamin pill.

As Pablo Picasso once said: "Painting is just another way to keep a diary."  It couldn't be more apt in this case.

                                                                                                   ~~~My Facebook entry for June 2, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Paintings

Harry Potter. WC on Moleskine. June 30.
Lucky 9 Kois. 16"x 20" Acrylic. June 18.
Stallone aka Rocky. WC on Moleskine. June 16.
A Gabrielle Munter in WC. Moleskine. June 14.
Gal Gadot WC on Moleskine. June 9.
Puffin WC3 on Moleskine. June 9.
 Commissioned Kois. 10"x 14" Acrylic. June 8.
8"x 10" Single Koi. Acrylic. June 8.
Kois WC2 on Moleskine. June 7.
Kois WC1 on Moleskine. June 6.
Puffin WC1 on Moleskine. June 6.
2nd Pose from Yesterday's Session. Soft Pastel. June 4.
Afternoon Live Nude Session in Soft Pastel. June 3.
Cezanne Countryside Landscape. WC on Moleskine. June 3.
2 Colorful Birds. WC in Moleskine. June 2.
Nude Study 1 in Pastel and Charcoal. June 1.
Nude Study 2 in Charcoal and black pastel for BG. June 1.

Nude Study 1 Step-by-Step

Playing with Charcoal & White Pastel on colored 11"x 14" paper
Added a light blue background
I'm trying my best to be more productive in the afternoons and refrain from watching noontime TV (Ellen) that takes up most of my idle time and makes me sleepy anyway.  This is what I produced today, an assignment from Let's Paint Figures group on Facebook.  I intend to produce more, one day at a time hopefully...if not more.  #gettingtoknowcharcoal #gettingtoknowpastels #confessions #fromatvholic