Filtering by Category: Paintings

Understanding my painting process

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I've come to realize that I need at least three hours of dedicated painting time per studio session.  My process seems to be that during the first two hours, I make a mess.  In the last hour, I fix the mess and move forward.  

I stopped working on this portrait months ago because I found myself only making a mess, never having that third hour to fix and improve things.

Today I had a good chunk of time in the studio and believe me, I made a mess.  But I also made some progress.  It is closer than ever to complete.

Scroll down to view several stages of the portrait and the source image.

  Isabella, oil on board, portrait commission in progress. 1/1/2013

Isabella, oil on board, portrait commission in progress. 1/1/2013


Isabella, oil on board, portrait commission in progress. 12/31/2013

  Isabella, oil on board, portrait commission in progress. 4/30/2013

Isabella, oil on board, portrait commission in progress. 4/30/2013

Isabella source image.jpg

Painting of my commute: the Dumbarton Bridge

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Six years ago, when I first moved to the Bay Area, I thought the land around the Dumbarton Bridge was stinky, ugly, and to be avoided by any way possible.  The last several years have seen a restoration of the area, from a solar salt industry back to native salt marsh.

One of my clients is located in Palo Alto and once a week I drive over the Dumbarton Bridge. Last week, the bridge was a parking lot due to an accident near Facebook headquarters. Being stuck in my car for an hour gave me the opportunity to look at my surroundings and appreciate their beauty. I snapped several photos of the sky and the marsh.  Later that week I began my first painting of the area.  

Dumbarton underpainting, Lara Hoke, oil on panel

A Painting for Norton Factory Studios

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I decided to try something new (for me) for the piece I submitted to Norton Factory Studios' silent auction. I painted a cloudscape.  I'm pleased with the result and am considering doing more. Let me know what you think!  And, if you are in town, come to the auction on Saturday night - 

http://www.facebook.com/events/322081667929246/

Sunset, Lara Hoke

Dabbling in Encaustic

Added on by Lara Hoke.

This past weekend I took a two-day workshop on encaustic painting at Kala with the artist and paint maker Hylla Evans.  Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated and pigmented beeswax.  

Learning a new medium and technique is both intimidating and freeing.  What I ended up creating was nothing like what I expected to create.  To learn something new is to take a risk.

 Photo collage of my encaustic paintings

Photo collage of my encaustic paintings

The paintings in my studio

Painting in-Progress: Latest Addition to the Oakland Nightscapes Series

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Below is  the latest painting in my Oakland Nightscapes series.  Unlike the previous paintings in the series, which were primarily concerned with a particular corner and storefront, this painting is of our house.

This series of paintings explores familiar places that take on a very different character after dusk.  

This painting is still in-progress though I anticipate completing it within the next week.  I apologize for the quality of the photo.  This series has been notoriously difficult to photograph.

Lara Hoke, Oakland Nightscape, in-progress

Portrait of Ben

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I am participating in a show titled "Faces" in Berkeley that opens early next month. I will be showing three pieces and--potentially--a fourth, if I can complete this portrait of Ben which I started this week. I want this painting to feel like a charcoal drawing, with the artist's hand present in the push and pull between additions and erasures.  The main image below is where the portrait is now.   The three images in the strip below are from earlier stages in the portrait's evolution.

Ben, in progress

Making Progress Thanks to Feedback

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I meant to post this three weeks ago, but forgot...
7/20/2012
Our crit group met last night. I brought the two paintings I recently dusted off and am reworking. The experience was a reminder the feedback is invaluable.  The comments and suggestions on where to take the paintings were much appreciated.  It is easy to become blind to your work.  Critiques give you an opportunity to see your work through another's eyes.

During my critique, I was reminded to not get distracted by detail and to look at the shapes.  

I specifically asked for feedback in regards to Kim - I was concerned about how sacharine it was and wanted suggestions on how to make it less so.  One group member suggested I remove the plants and pots.  I did that first thing in the studio today.  I also am paying more attention to the angles in the painting. In Lindsey. I removed the ambiguous shape behind her head and simplified the space.

  Kim

Kim

  Kim , Detail

Kim, Detail

  Lindsey

Lindsey

  Lindsey , Detail

Lindsey, Detail

Revisiting Old Friends

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Kim (close-up)

Lindsey, Brooklyn Bedroom

I was recently asked to show my work as part of a group show at a new gallery in Livermore, CA. The show is about the figure and being such, the gallery was interested in my older work, most of which is no longer in my possession. To meet the gallery's request, I pulled two half-finished paintings off the shelf, dusted them of, and started painting. It is fascinating and challenging working on pieces from the past. I was surprised to see how my brushwork has changed in the three or four years it has been since I last worked on these two paintings. It is looser, softer, less interested in edges. I have eight days to finish the paintings. Wish me luck!

You can see the original versions of these paintings here:

Kim

Lindsey, Brooklyn Bedroom

 

Another Technique for Refining a Portrait

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Many artists project the source image on canvas and trace the outlines.  In my portrait work, I've found this approach to be helpful when working in the dry, precise medium of graphite.  However, it is totally useless when I work in oil.  My painting process involves loose application of paint, blending, wiping, and reapplication of paint.  If I traced the image, it would be like painting between the lines or color by number.  The painting would have no life of its own.

In addition to overlaying the in-progress portrait over the source photo (see the previous post), I've started outlining the source photo in Photoshop and overlaying the drawn outline over a photo of the painting in progress.

Original with Line Overlay, Painting, Painting with Overlay

Portraits in Progress

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Reference Photograph, Grandfather ZibbelI'm am working on a series of portraits of a client's grandfathers.  The paintings are meant to be a clear expression of their memories and evoke a feeling of nostalgia and history.  

Reference Photograph, Grandfather Buck 

 

 

 

Although early in the process of painting the portraits, I want to be careful not to overwork them.  I want the paintings to be a combination of fully developed areas and loose, gestural lines.

Lara Hoke, Grandfather Buck in ProgressLara Hoke, Grandfather Zibbel in Progress

Lara Hoke, Grandfather portraits in progress, oil on panel

 

Forest and Claremont, from photo to finished painting

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I've become particularly interested in documenting my work, in tracking the development of a painting over time.  In an effort to study and share the many lives a painting lives, I will post the history of a painting at the point when I've decided it is complete.

Below is the source photo, the study, the underpainting, and the finished painting of Claremont and Forest.

Lara Hoke, Forest and Claremont, photo, study, underpainting, painting

A New Painting and an Update

Added on by Lara Hoke.

This painting is from a photo I took with my phone this past Friday night.  It is the intersection of MacArthur and Park Boulevard by the high school. 

Lara Hoke, Oakland Nightscape, MacArthur and Park

And the latest iteration of "Liquor Video".  I've been trying to paint only with 1" or larger brushes to keep the stroke loose and painterly and force myself not to fall into my old habit of overworking details.

Lara Hoke, Oakland Nightscape, "Liquor Video"