Category Archives: Selected Works

Large Mongoose Painting

After completing the charcoal base values, which took about 2 weeks in total, I was then able to proceed with the painting portion of the work. Once the values had been liberally sealed so they wouldn’t smudge, I applied a heavy gel medium over the whole canvas with what I like to refer to as my “magic brush.” Gel medium is a thick paste like paint medium lacking pigment. It gives great texture and dries clear showing the value underneath. My magic brush is just a simple flat 1 inch painter’s brush that I have used to apply gel medium for years. At this point, the brush is so caked with hardened gel medium, it is now really just about 50 thick, spike-like collections of bristle groups that I can use to get the pronounced swirls in the gel medium covering my canvas. I have occasionally applied the gel medium to reinforce aspects of the subject matter but more often I apply a simple, overlapping swirl pattern to keep a consistent look between my works.

Once the gel medium has been applied and has dried, I lay in my base shadow colors with an acrylic wash of pretty watery paint. After that is done, I acrylic wash in my base colors. I will usually do this stage with the canvas flat so the paint doesn’t run and just pools into the valleys in my swirling texture. Moving forward, I hand mix my paints to layer in complexity and nuance into the painting color work. Once completed, the painting is almost done. I will often push in the shadows darker and layer in lighter illuminated areas and highlights. In a final pass, I will dry-brush areas to help reinforce the heavy texture, brushing in lighter values across the peaks of the gel medium texture.

Large Mongoose Charcoals

Yes. I have returned to blogging on my website. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’m still pretty disillusioned with social media so I haven’t decided if I’ll push this to any of those sites. After getting my website back up, I realized I missed talking about my process. So this is going to be more for my kids and I and whomever wants to check in and hear me ramble about my art process. So enough about that.

Here is my charcoal pass for the Large mongoose painting I am titling Courtyard at Moonlight. This painting shows Isabella De La Rosa as seen by William Weatherford. I started with a Photoshop mock-up where I cobbled together what photo references I could, applied a grid overlay to the image, and then transferred the grid lines to my toned canvas. For any of you who have not heard the term before, toning is where you apply a light to middle value of evenly to the whole canvas.

Once the grid has been lightly erased into the toned canvas, I blocked in the forms and then started laying in my values paying close attention to the shapes and lines in each square of the grid. Focusing on line and shape in each grid square helps to view the subject matter more objectively and accurately, assisting with the maintaining of good scale and proportion. Once the values were laid in, I went in and refined in details using charcoal pencils, kneaded erasers, and a folded paper towel for blending small areas and working in the charcoal. The folded rough paper towel is one of my favorite drawing tools. It is cheap and you can fold and re-fold sharp corners in it allowing you to blend in and manipulate tighter details in your charcoal.

After finishing the charcoal, I applied spray fixative liberally (so liberally that it pooled up on the surface in places) to seal the charcoal layer. Final touches to details were applied with black and white colored pencils and I used the white colored pencil to pull out brighter light areas as the spray fixative darkens all the charcoals.