Filtering by Tag: figurative oil painting

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

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (and another new painting)

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I've been working on Rockridge Nightscape AKA Liquor Video for 4 weeks.  Because I only work on it during class - twice a week for three hours - each time I paint I look at it with fresh eyes.  I made several major changes (at least major to me) this past class.  Although the painting may look worse for it for now, the changes are for the best.  The tree that was dividing the canvas virtually in half is gone and I've brought back the green leaves in the foreground. Next up: bringing back the depth in the sky and foreground.

Lara Hoke, Rockridge Nightscape AKA Liquor Video, new on left, old on right

And you may recognize this painting.  It's a larger version of a study I did several months ago. I'm really happy with how the foreground is shaping up.

Lara Hoke, Short Sale



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!

Oakland Nightscapes, Continued...

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I've begun painting the fourth large painting in my series of Oakland nightscapes.  The reference  photograph (below, middle) was one the first that I took in the series and the color study (below, right) was the first in the set of studies that I created last June.

The new painting is in it's *very* early stages - it's just an underpainting.  I've probably only spent about an hour on it.  BUT I really like the gestural quality it has and am afraid that I will lose that quality and by continuing to work on it.  It's that fine line that I continue to search for - mixing looseness and gesture with line and fully realized form...



Reference PhotographColor study

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

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

Work in Progress Update - Kim

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Just wanted to share the latest update to my painting of Kim.  I decided to change the time of day from night to dusk and use the window to give a greater sense of depth.  I have more work to do on her hands, the outdoors, and the plants on the windowsill but otherwise I feel confident that the end is in sight!

Lara Hoke, Kim

Video From East Bay Open Studios 2010

Added on by Lara Hoke.

Here's a clip from this past weekend's Open Studios taken by Stan Goldberg, self pro-claimed Senior Dad.  I come in around the 2:50 mark.  The other artist included in the interview is Laura Malone.

You can also watch the video by following this link

Laundry Night Hawks: A Work in Progress

Added on by Lara Hoke.

To the left is the original photograph that I took of our laundromat and cornerstore.  To the right are overlays of my first efforts at the painting overlayed with at different opacities on the original photo.

Original Photograph

Laundry Night Hawks Overlay 1

Laundry Night Hawks Overlay 2Below are images of my second efforts at the painting.  I moved and minimized the corner shop and adjusted the size of the laundromat.



Laundry Night Hawks Effort 2 No Overlay

Laundry Night Hawks Overlay 6

Laundry Night Hawks Overlay 7 (reduced opacity)


Euan Uglow

Added on by Lara Hoke.

I painted for the first time in 1997. I was sixteen years old, and incredibly lucky to have Rick Weaver (whom I will touch on in a future post) as my teacher.  He is an excellent educator and an incredibly talented artist. Rick taught me about color and form and light and shadow. He also introduced me to the work of Euan Uglow, an artist who's strong, elegant, and clean work reminds me daily of why I paint.

Uglow was born in the early 1930s and was a part of the  20th Century British Realist Painters school who's members include such extraordinary names as Lucian Freud, William Coldstream, David Hockney, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Peter Blake, R.B. Kitaj, and Leon Kossoff. 

He taught at Slade School of Art until his death in 2000 and is best known for his work in the figure. His compositions are ostensibly simple, but belie a complex geometry. Planes are articulated precisely, edges are sharply defined, and colors are differentiated with great subtlety.

His method of painting was meticulous and his paintings took months and often years to complete. The surfaces of his paintings are checkered with many small horizontal and vertical markings. These are the remnants of plum lines, the coordinates he used to verify two dimensional relationships against against three dimensional reality.

Among the artists most influential to Uglow are Matisse, the Venetians, Cezanne, Poussin, and Ingres.
All images copyright Euan Uglow.