Categories
Portrait Paintings

8.6 Percent

Okay, it’s that time again when I match my latest portrait with what’s going on in the world! As I am wrapping up this portrait, the inflation in the U.S. is at 8.6%.

As we have been hearing, the annual Inflation rate for the United States for the 12 month ending in May 2022 has been the worst since 1981. As you know, many of the leading economists were wrong about inflation in 2021–they had said the inflation would be transitory. So, when the same economists say things are going to be better, we have to decide for ourselves if they are telling the truth or saying what we want to hear.

Title: Bird Nest
Dimension: 12″ x 9″ inches
Medium: Oil on Canvas

The fact is that the gas price has been skyrocketing in the recent months. If the cost of gas doesn’t come down, the inflation will likely to rise.

With the increasing inflation, I will likely have to increase the cost of my paintings, but for now I am going to keep prices at pre-inflation level. I added a few new paintings up for sale, so please be sure to check them out!

Original Paintings for Sale

Selected studies are available to you at a very responsible price as I am test driving my secure online website. Each of these paintings are unique, painted from live models–mostly from NYC. I invited you to own your piece of NYC history! You can view more of them from my shop‘s Oil Sketches & Deals section.

Lydda - 9" x 6" inches

Lydda – 9″ x 6″ inches

$300.00

Buy now
Clark - 12” x 9” inches

Clark – 12” x 9” inches

$200.00

Buy now
Bjerknes - 9” x 12” inches

Bjerknes – 9” x 12” inches

$300.00

Buy now
Bjerknes - 9” x 12” inches

Bjerknes – 9” x 12” inches

$300.00

Buy now
Categories
Portrait Paintings

Portrait of Johnny

This ‘Portrait of Johnny’ is my tribute to Diego Velázquez (1599-1660).

Earlier this year, when NYC shutdown due to Omicron, I copied The ‘Portrait of a Little Girl’ by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). I had never seen the original, but there were good enough references online, so I gave it a go.

Coincidentally, soon after I completed the master copy, I got around to see the original painting! The Hispanic Society of America pulled together a special exhibition which included this painting by Diego. Yay!

Seeing the original painting helped me see how Diego might have painted.

I didn’t get around to finish this painting and it now looks somewhat ‘unfinished’ as the “Portrait of Little Girl’.

Categories
Portrait Paintings

83 Million+

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

― Michelangelo Buonarroti

There has been 83 Million+ confirmed COVID cases in the U.S. as of this month. And, the number of deaths has surpassed 1 Million.

When the number of COVID cases were about 4 Million, I had executed a self-portrait to enter a competition. It wasn’t a finished portrait, but a loosely painted composition.

This week, I decided to dust off the same portrait and work on it again. Working on the portrait from 2 years ago has allowed me to look back at all the stuff that has happened. I hope all of you that are reading this can also reflect on all that you have accomplished, and give yourself a pad on the back for living through one of the strangest time of our human history.

Categories
Portrait Paintings

This moment

Title: This moment
Oil on Canvas
12×9 Inches

This is a color study for a new pose that started this week. Many of my color studies are more detailed than traditional studies, but executing these studies helps me tryout various combination of color mixes.

When all things fall apart, there is only one thing left to do—very carefully, put everything on the palette on the canvas.

Je — May 18, 2022
Swipe to see the work in progress, including the initial pencil sketch.

Categories
Portrait Paintings

How are your proportions?

For all the times that I painted portraits, I found 2 ways to measure proportions: (1) use a stick, ruler, brush or similar device, or (2) simply start painting.

Measuring and calculating the proportions of a portrait is important—it will make or break a painting.

The problem for measuring occurs when models move—this is very natural—the measurements that were perfect seconds or days ago can be totally out of place.

So, for me, measuring too much takes away the experience of painting from life, so I don’t measure much. Once I am happy with the head size and the overall placement of the figure, it’s time for my army of brushes and paints to start the battle.

This is not to say that I don’t measure. I am constantly measuring while I am painting, but much of it based on judging whether or not I am able to capture the likeness.

Step 1: Fit the image
Step 2: Make changes to improve the initial drawing
Step 3: Add colors
Categories
Portrait Paintings

A Master Copy – Diego Velázquez- Done for now

January 20, 2021

So I learned much about how Diego Velázquez painted by copying this painting of his. undoubtedly, in my own opinion, Diego was one of the best painters from those that I admire.

As you can imagine, this master copy is quiet different from the original in many ways. The main difference is probably the way this was painted using more of traditional oil painting techniques than the way Diego executed the original. Second, my version probably has slightly bigger figure (face) than the original, and finally, for my last working sessions, I made numerous changes as I see fit, deviating from the copies of the original. Besides, there is no good reason to keep copying from inaccurate copies.

I suppose I can get this to look very close to the original, but I going to move on with other projects for now.

Once the Hispanics Society reopens, and when I can see the original painting once again, I may make additional changes.

Related Links

Categories
Portrait Paintings

Getting Ready for Another Wild Ride

I started this week with the above portrait study of Steve, followed by a composition study below.

Oil on Paper, 12” x 9”

All was progressing as usual until the mid-week when many institutions began closing down to slow the spread of Omicron. At the moment, many planned sessions for this pose are canceled, so I will continue this project in 2022.

2021 has proven to be a year to be remembered. While there has been yet another massive outbreak of Covid-19, I am optimistic that we all will improve in the coming months.

PS: Congratulations to those who had a chance to visit the Art Students of League of New York and purchased The Little Red Lighthouse and a portrait from my Soundkeepers collection.

Categories
Portrait Paintings

One More Painting

I know a not-so-secret formula for winning: Keep it simple. Winning can mean different things to me, but in the instance of painting, it’s all about painting one more painting.

Each morning, I ask myself this: Can I paint another painting?

For the last 3 weeks, mainly, I have been occupied with one painting: standing 30 inches wide and 40 inches high, it’s one of the largest portraits that I have executed. It’s really a large study of colors and values. There were so many parts of the painting that needed time consuming attention: background, chairs, small step stool, snakeskin sneakers with laces, jean overall, and the model.

Three Rings – 40” x 30” – Oil on Canvas

All the days that I worked on this painting, I have wondered what’s happening in front of my eyes. Just in the U.S. alone, we have lost 740K+ people to this pandemic, and based on the number of cases and deaths, the number will continue to increase for some time, especially in the parts of the country that have been experiencing COVID outbreak really for the first time. Good news is that now there are more ways to treat COVID, and the vaccines have been available for months.

When riding a crowded subway car, I stood next to a mother and a child. The boy must have been 5 or younger. Her mother read children’s books to him while coughing and sneezing throughout the ride. My mind wondered as I watched this seemingly innocent scene from the past. Soon I left the subway car, went to the studio, and finished my painting.

The last day of painting from life feels so sad, but also very festive and beautiful.

I am ready to paint one more painting.

Cropped image from the same painting

Fun Reads

Beyond realism: 10 things to know about Edward Hopperchristies.com

Categories
Portrait Paintings

414K+

I traveled to India some years ago. I have vivid images from my experience there. India is a beautiful place, full of colorful people and big smiles.

Pencil on Paper

It has been tough listening and watching all the news about what’s happening there now. There were more than 414K+ Covid-19 cases within 24 hours…

I have been looking back to my photo archives from my trip. To my surprise, there are lots of pictures of people that I met there, because people were so kind and inviting to take photos of them. I wonder how all of them are doing at this moment. My heart goes out to everyone there.

I hope the situation improves rapidly in India.

Categories
Portrait Paintings

Another Night In NYC

So I have been painting these little portraits between working on my commission works. This one was painted via Zoom, last night with Henry, who I have painted and spoken with in the past.

Oil on Paper, 12” x 9”

During this pandemic, I have been using various way of preparing painting surfaces on paper, and it’s working out pretty well. I typically have used double primed linen, and I have found hard to use any other surface for oil painting, but I think I found a reliable way to paint as I do on linen on paper.

If you want to see painting process of this painting, check out my Instagram Reel on this painting. Enjoy!

Eco-Friendly Oil Painting Series

  • PART 1 – Know the dangers of using solvents and chemicals
  • PART II – Recommended Colors for Portraits Painting