Monday, March 2, 2015

Another quick oil paint study of mine, and more wisdom from my figure drawing teacher, Mr. Parks:

"Simplify your drawing into 3 values: light halftone and dark. Keep the halftone area noticeably grouped with the light. (It will help define your shadow pattern.)

--Don’t MUSH your values; keep them distinct."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I’ve never had any training using oil paint, but have always been drawn to the buttery feel of it and that lovely smell.

It has been so many years since I last painted from life, I knew I had to return to the basics learned from my wonderful figure drawing teacher, Bill Parks at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

He gave us 4 questions to ask ourselves if we felt something wasn’t right about our work:

1. Is it the correct SHAPE?

2. Is the VALUE too light or too dark?

3. Is the TEMPERATURE of the COLOR too warm or too cool?

4. Is the EDGE of the shape too sharp or too soft?

Breaking the mess of what we saw in front of us down to 4 simple decisions, Mr. Parks taught us that critical thinking was the best tool we had in order to achieve accurate work. For those of us who didn’t spring out of the womb with the ability to paint like Sargent, the only way to learn to paint well was to constantly analyze what you saw in your subject, and what you saw in your work. As he often said: “If you are drawing without COMPARING, you are drawing without SEEING.”

I know I still have a long way to go to master his teachings, and I hope to track my progress occasionally in this blog. I’ll also be posting more paintings, and bits of wisdom from Mr. Parks and others that I have gathered over the years.

BTW, I intend to eventually sell some of these on Etsy, but if anyone wants to grab one as they show up here, shoot me an email. About $125. each.  Update: the bottle has sold! Thanks Beth!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I stopped visiting Goodreads quite a while ago, but needing a break from drawing yesterday, I found this review of Randall de Seve's wonderful book.

Very sweet! Not sure I'd want to decorate someones heinie though...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Oliver hits a list

I just received news that Oliver and his Alligator made BookPage's best of 2013 list for picture books!


Yay Oliver!

they keep coming

Another very nice review of Oliver, this time from Shelf Awareness:

Paul Schmid's (A Pet for Petunia) hero Oliver, a cute-as-a-button, pastel-pencil blob of a boy, is scared of the first day of school. Clutching an apple and staring, pink-cheeked, at a long, scary sidewalk that leads to school, Oliver feels that his "brave [isn't] nearly as big as it [needs] to be." So he decides to bring along an alligator to protect him. If facing your fears is too hard, why not ingest them?

Oliver cues the alligator with a command to "Munch, munch!" when he encounters the teacher, a friendly girl, the rest of the class, the classroom decorations. But once they have all been swallowed, Oliver begins to feel... lonely. The alligator, an expressionless reptile consisting of a green outline, three stripes down its middle and small feet, swells so large it can no longer fit on the page--and yet, it keeps munching, right up to the book's deeply satisfying conclusion. --Allie Jane Bruce, children's librarian, Bank Street College of Education
Discover: A boy, unable to face his fears, picks up an alligator to ingest them.