Monday, April 28, 2008

Lobenberg is in the house!...or...My first step.

Lately I've posted some watercolor and charcoal gesture paintings and drawings.
Thank you all for some very complimentary comments. One of the comments was from fellow hometown artist Terry Miura. He's a very talented artist from whom I always appreciate a good word (check out his blog link-you won't be sorry). In his latest comment and after having seen my gesture art, he invited me to one of his open life drawing sessions to strut my stuff. I've always intended to partake in theses sessions (he has three a week) as he has very professional models, a spacious studio, lots of easels and drawing mules, and talented artists in attendance. But you know how it can go...other daily activities always precluded me from going. But indeed, a good ego stroking can often overcome such obstacles. Yes, last Saturday, there I was, Johnny on the spot and ready to rock the house with my charcoal gesture drawings. The male model disrobed for a few 5 minute poses. Five minutes? Ha!! I can knock off gestures in one minute. Five per pose! And so with my newsprint pad on easel, soft black compressed charcoal in hand, and both feet spread in the drawing stance, I was ready baby! much experience, outside of drawing my fully clothed students in my drawing classes, do I have drawing butt naked models? Answer...practically ZILCH, NADA, and DIDLY SQUAT. I attempted about four gestures that were absolute crap. Terry couldn't make this session thank god, but one of my ex-drawing students was there as well as a fellow City College art professor. I was finding out that drawing a real live nude gesturally was going to be a lot harder. Not only that, but how could I not try to meet the challenge of capturing the contours and mass of the model. Bye, bye gesture drawing!
So I did not rock the house. I present exhibits A @ B. Not stella drawings, but hey, remember?... almost zilch life drawing experience. Now I gotta attend more sessions and get better. Then and only then can I try to knock off those one minute gestures, By the way, an ancient Chinese proverb says "The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step".

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is a watercolor painting I did a few years back for the Sacramento Ballet. It was reproduced as a limited edition print and sold to patrons. I painted it from a reference photo from the Joffre Ballet Company. I'm posting it as my last example of gesture art. I was just visited on my blog by an artist in Wales who does terrific race car paintings with lots of gestural style motion in them. His name is Rob Ijbema and his blog is: Check him out via my links section.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Got Japanese Style Gesture?

This was done on cold press h2o paper with a #16 watercolor round brush.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Got Gesture?

These are 60 second gesture drawing demos I did a few years back for one of my drawing classes at Sacramento City College. They were done with super duper soft/black quarter inch round charcoal sticks. We were doing gestures on cheap newsprint paper. I always turn on some snappy music (love electronic rave or dance music...even the Irish group "Flogging Molly") to help my students get into the gestural movement groove. No time to take proportion measurements. It must all be eyeballed very quickly. 60 second gesture drawing comes at the end of the semester after the students have gotten a lot of representational drawing exercises under their belts. Check out David Lloyd, an artist in New Orleans...he's a gestural drawer/painter I like very much. You can find him in my links section. Gotta stop typing 60 seconds is up!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What NOT TO DO (?) and Help!

Here's some dirty laundry. I was commissioned to do the grandson of the manager of one of the art supply stores here in Sacramento. I took about twelve photos of the cute little tike. Most of them were outside with some very nice shadowing on his face. Then I took a few in my studio bathroom. The bathroom has a frosted window facing the sun. In the afternoon, anyone posing for me is hit with wonderful soft light casting soft shadows (see my February post of the watercolor portrait I did of Stacy, my ex-rep and a comely lass, indeed). But with the grandson (his name is Ian), the photos were in the late morning before the sun came around to face the window square on. The light was flat and diffused. But...I included this photo for the client to see, and his wife loved it, and everyone was on the same page as far as his angelic expression was concerned. So...that was my reference photo. The painting captures his look, and the client absolutly loves the painting. Done deal, sold American. Problem is...boring!!!! Can any of you very talented fellow artists out there give me a clue as to how I could have painted Ian in flat light but with some panache?

Sad Artist

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Born To Be Wild!!!!

I'm 61 years of age with no bodily piercing or tattoos, and I would never, ever be caught dead on a Harley. They scare me. But they are great, and I like their riders. These are monochromatic watercolors I did on 140lb cold press (no, I NEVER stretch or tape down my paper). The style was inspired by a 20th century chinese painter who worked from the 30's to about the early 70's. His black and white and minimalist color ink paintings were mostly of contemporary urban scenes. I paid $3 for his book in a used book store about 3 years ago.

(Bikers don't cotton to things foreign. That's why I have my quasi-chinese chop {not chopper!} and the Old Glory)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Outdoor Painting Tip #2

You are outside with all your plein air equipment fighting bugs, wind, and heat. You have spent 3 hours of hard, hard, hard painting labor that has gotten you nowhere. Your attempt at capturing the pond, tractor, and wheat field has grossly failed. What do you do with this piece of shit (sorry for the language... but....shit is shit, isn't it?) The answer is simple. Go back to your comfy studio, where you should never have left in the first place, re-gesso that piece of you know what, and do an abstract painting. No pond, no tractor, and no wheat field!

(of course, this would NEVER happen to yours truly)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Outdoor Painting Tip #1

When your tripod easel outfit is not sturdy enough to attach your big, heavy umbrella to and you also happen to be painting on a rocking boat, just what do you do?

(To see the answer, stand on your head and view photo)

I think this macho outdoor painting dude went by the name of John Singer Sargent. He often whimped out by painting in sissy watercolors. What's up with that!