Filtering by Tag: Oakland California

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

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

Using Technology to Capture Likeness

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Periodically while I work on a portrait I use Photoshop to overlay a photo of the painting on the source image.  Not a fancy technique by any means, but a hugely useful one.  By overlaying the images I can see immediately where my painting is off.  For example, in the first series below, I can easily see that my painting is too straight on.  Rather than directly facing the camera as I've painted him, the subject is turning slightly toward his right.  In the second series I see several issues.  The most important of which are the tilt of the head and the placement of the right eye.

Capturing the spirit of the subject can't be helped by technology.  Thank goodness at least likeness can.

Source Image, Portrait in Process, Overlay

Source Image, Portrait in Process, Overlay

Latest Work-In-Progress

Added on by Lara Hoke.

The last month was a whirlwind.  After EBOS I spent a amazing week in Bend, OR with my husband Ben's family.  During the last three weeks of June we made an offer on a house, went into escrow, closed, and moved.

My new studio is not functional yet, but will be soon.  I will share pictures of the studio's progress in my post.

In the mean time, I've been taking classes with Mel Prest at 10th Street Studios.  Below is the painting I am currently working on.  For those of you familiar with the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, you may recognize the glowing sign for what I affectionately call "Liquor Video" aka Eddie's Drive In Liquors. 

Rockridge Nightscape AKA Liquor Video

New Studies from the Studio

Added on by Lara Hoke.

With the first round of Nightscapes nearing completion, I've begun working on a new series of studies.  These ones are more abstract and less architectural than the first round.  It's tough to know if they actual look like anything or if they just color blobs.  They look like something to me, but of course I know what they are.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stages of a Portrait

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I've been working on this portrait of my friend Ariyele for quite some time.  I intitally started it back in May 2009.  I worked from life, I think we had two sittings of about an hour or two each, and was very pleased with how the portrait was progressing.  After the second sitting, I continued to work on it from a photograph.  The portrait became very severe - as you can see below in the image on the far right - and I put it away in mild disgust for over a year.

Earlier this month I took the painting out of storage, sanded it down a bit, and began working back into it.  Using thick layers of opaque painting mixed with subtle glazes of color I was able to soften the hard edges and bring life back into the painting despite the fact that I was still only working from a photograph.

Ariyele, late October 2010

Ariyele, early October 2010Ariyele, May 2009

Paintings Series: Oakland Nightscapes

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Now that summer is over and a certain normalcy has returned to my life, I've been able to get back into the studio and start the full-scale Oakland nightscapes in earnest.  These paintings are based on photos that I took in the spring that I turned into studies (you can see both the photos and the studies in an earlier post here http://www.larahoke.com/larasblog/2010/6/5/reference-photos-to-formal-studies.html).

The goals is to create and ethereal space - something that feels not quite safe but is at the same time very familiar.  To produce that effect I am developing the paintings slowly over time by applying lightly tinted semi-transparent layers of glaze.  I use the classic 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 recipe to make my glazing medium - linseed oil, damar varnish, and turp.  I am also working to loosen the brush stroke and am introducing line in the form of charcoal and graphite.   

Walking Towards (work-in-progress), Lara Hoke

Leaning (work-in-progress), Lara Hoke

 

Walking Away (work-in-progress), Lara Hoke

Reference Photos to Formal Studies

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Below are three photographs juxtaposed with painting studies. My primary interest in comparing the two images was correcting spatial and color discrepancies.  However, viewing them as a set, what I find most fascinating and valuable is the difference between perception and reality.

Lara Hoke, Oakland, Walking Towards Painting StudyLara Hoke, Oakland, Walking Towards Painting Study

 

 

Lara Hoke, Oakland, Bodega, Painting StudyLara Hoke, Oakland, Bodega, Painting Study

 

Lara Hoke, Oakland, Walking Away, Painting StudyLara Hoke, Oakland, Walking Away, Painting Study