Go figure.

First thing, let me apologize for some of these images...no I'm not talking about the paintings themselves, just the photography. I'm breaking one of my cardinal rules and instead of photographing them outside in natural light I have taken some of these photo's inside. Besides... with these paintings, the quality of the photo is really not going to make a difference.

Once again I'm strolling down memory lane and attempting to gain some perspective on just how far I've come. This time I'm reviewing figure paintings. Even more so than still life, this is a genre which I feel compelled to explore and which I am fascinated by. I am also quite frustrated by it...which is quite obvious form these examples.

These first four were done at Uarts... in this order during my class with Rob Matthews. In some ways I think this very first painting is better than the majority of the ones that follow. It was done with a palette knife, black and white.

Of course once I am given color things start to go downhill. Still working with the palette knife, in restrospect, kept me working broadly which is a lesson I wish I had carried with me later on.

My first self portrait. This was described to me as "nothing more than a colored drawing". At the time, I didn't know what that person meant.

Fast forward a little bit. Here I am, struggling through this all over again at PAFA. These next five are from last semester in my class with Doug Martensen. There are a variety of mistakes in here such as: overblending, virtually no grouping of value, incorrect value relationships, incorrect warm/cool relationships, incorrect brushes for the surface, inappropriate paint thickness (too thin and/or too thick)...etc.

Toward the end here, I started getting better at handling the paint and drawing with it although I was still too tied to the idea of linear drawing.

Here my sense of color seemed to become much more daring and realistic. It may seem a bit chromatic here but, it is a marked improvement over the chalky fleshtones I had been using previously .

I have two figure painting classes this semester. One with Renee Foulks and one with Carolyn Pyfrom. This is the first study of the semester. I think it is a large improvement over the work I produced previously and I expect the paintings that follow to bring larger leaps forward.


  Mike M

September 22, 2008 at 8:06 PM

dave, you can really see the improvement this semester in these two paintings, in placement, drawing, paint handling, etc.

Now just do 300 more :-)


September 22, 2008 at 8:13 PM

Right! None of these first 300 count. I just need to keep crankin' out the turkeys.

  The Drawings of Rob Matthews

September 22, 2008 at 8:46 PM

Love seeing the progression in your work Dave! The still lifes in the post below are great too.

Looks like you're having a of fun with it rather than pulling your hair out when I was watching you paint. Your drawing skills are really coming on strong too.

Congratulations. Let me know when any exhibitions (student or not) are coming up.


September 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Thanks for stopping by Rob. It's very nice to hear you say that my drawing skills are coming along, I have always been a big fan of your work. In fact, I kept pointing out the drawing you had in our contemporary gallery over at the Historic Landmark Building to the other students. Your drawings are well...intimidating. Anyway, thanks!

  E Palacios

September 26, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Great progression there Dave. Keep it up!


September 26, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Thanks man! I will...like I said I need to plow through about 480 more of these before I can expect them to start being good!