Category Archives: silver point


Silverpoint 6 Aug 10

Silverpoint drawing on prepped surface (moleskins)

We had a great model for class last night.  He was placed in an awesome pose that reminded me of a spanish bullfighter, cocky and so very proud.

I was to his right so most of his back was in shadow and his torso was in profile.  The majority of his chest and arm are in shadow and the arm is foreshortened as well, so what might seem like is lower belly is actually his forearm and hand.

Not certain how well this will read but figured I should post it.


Friday Night Class

Finally made it to class this Friday.  I’ve been fighting a summer cold on and off this month and last.  Thank you random traveler on the flight home from Denver.  Your willingness to share a ton of germs with me caused me to miss more than a week of work and a ton of misery.

Ok back to class.

I always have a hard time shifting from painting to drawing and back again.  Maybe it was the fact that I’d missed the first two classes, but I was able to settle in pretty quickly.

We had a new model (in every sense, he’d never modeled before) and he did a great job. I liked that he had a build like normal people, so that made it more difficult to render what was going on with his abdomen but made it kind of fun as well.

I decided to work in silverpoint but did make a few quick gesture sketches to warm up.  I also made a conscious decision (after one false start) to focus on one area of the body for the evening.  This turned out to be the way to go.

My drawing wasn’t the best thing going, at the same time it didn’t completely suck.  Silver point is hard to photograph but I will try to get a better picture/

For Bill

This is for Bill Sharp.

Bill this is a larger version of the silverpoint I started last week.  Hope this reads better-I never have much luck photographing silverpoint.

Silverpoint, Seated Female

Silverpoint, Seated Female

Friday Evening Class-Silverpoint

Silverpoint, Seated Female

Silverpoint, Seated Female

Last night we had a gorgeous model as well as a talented artist in her own right.  This is one of the model’s who donated her time for a fundraiser for Ada.  I was really happy when I found out we’d have her for two nights.  So I dithered between colored pencil and silverpoint.  I finally asked Rob which one he’d suggest and he immediately replied silverpoint so away I went.

Before class had started, I’d shown up early and prepped the paper in my new moleskine sketchbook.  Now if your like me when you think of molskines you think small-say 6 x 9ish….yeah-not so much anymore.  Moleskine introduced a folio size  (16.6 x 11.8)  in for watercolors, sketchbooks and my favorite, grid squares (I am such a geek). The cheapest place to buy the moleskin A3 is at, it sells for 26.40 instead of the normal retail price of $40.00.  A less expensive option could be the A4 folios which measure in at 11.6 x 8.4 and sell for $19.77 versus $29.95 (at Amazon).

I prepped the first two pages with watercolor and then the amber shellac mixture.  Then I prepped the next two pages with Plaka.

This is the first attempt at drawing the model.  As

The First Silverpoint Attempt.

The First Silverpoint Attempt.

you can see, the figure is pretty static.  There is no sense of movement and frankly she looks like she could have been drawn from my imagination or a photograph.

I think I got a little too carried away with the skin folds along the models right side.  No idea why but the only thing I really like about this drawing is how I started rendering her head, neck and hair.

So after Robert’s critique and his quick line drawing I decided to give this a second shot.  I am glad I did, since I really like the direction the second drawing is now heading.

Did I forget to mention that I love silverpoint but I tend to make my shadows too light (just like my pencil work-sigh).

Fundraiser for Artist Model Ada – 6 July



One of the models who works for the Alexandria Art League was involved in a serious accident several weeks ago.  She is slowly recovering but had no health insurance and has had two surgeries so far.  The wonderful folks at the Alexandria Art League have decided to host a fund raiser to help defray her medical expenses.

Artist Robert Liberace will conduct three painting demonstrations on Monday 6 July 2009 at the Duke Street Annex in Alexandria Virginia.  If you attend during the day there is a free trolley that shuttles between Union Street at the waterfront and the King Street Metro Station (blue and yellow metro lines) -it runs every 20 minutes.  Once at Union and King Street the Duke Street Annex is 2 blocks south.

Rob will be painting all day and should stop around 9:45pm.  If you’ve never had a chance to see him in action-whether you paint or not-now is the time.  I am pretty excited because usually during classes, I am torn between watching Rob’s demo and/or painting.

Throughout the day there will be a silent auction where you can bid on works by Robert Liberace.  Rob has been holding on to his class demos (which are wonderful!) and will have those for sale as well as the demos he creates during the fundraiser.  All of the proceeds go directly to help Ada.

So, if you’ve been fortunate enough to paint with Ada as your model, if you attended the paint-off at the Portrait Society of America (she was a model), if you’ve always wanted to see Robert paint and learn about his techniques-and best of all-if you want a chance to help someone in serious need—plan on attending! I will see you there.


PS if you can not attend and would like to donate, contact the art league at 703.683.2323.

Some Recent Work

A fellow member at the Keiser Collectors asked if I would link some of my work. Most of these are scattered throughout this blog, but I wanted to make one post that linked the ones I like the most.

Pencil Drawing

Pencil Drawing

I hope you, the reader, do not think of this as mass advertising or self promoting. I am just trying to link what I have in one spot so she can see it. I will probably take this down in a week or so. So here goes, the ones I really love I will put a narrative down to explain it a bit.

This pencil drawing was made in just under three hours. The overall image is about 8×10″ but I cropped the photo so that you could really see the detail of the model’s face. The model’s hair is amazing and you may be able to faintly see the earrings he was wearing, they were like tiny ivory tusks.

The paper is Gutenberg cream laid which was given a wash of ochre and then painted with a diluted solution of shellac. It probably sounds odd, but we use prismacolors which tend can be waxy. Using the shellac changes the surface and enables you to really add layers to your drawing with out the wax.

Nude Study (Gaiselle)

Nude Study (Graiselle)

The oil painting on the right is one of my favorites, it was the first one I made in Robert Liberace’s class that I actually liked. I used a RayMar panel (it is belgian linen that is double oil primed) which I love, these are relatively inexpensive, lightweight and the paint just slides right on them. I use these or unstretched linen taped to a Masonite panel because they are light, easy to transport and don’t require a lot of space to store.

Although the background looks blue it’s a blue-grey created by mixing lamp black with titanium white. The graisselle was made using varying amounts of brunt umber and brunt sienna with white. No other colors were used. The model’s head is a little large and frankly her chin should be lower, but I decided to stop while I was ahead. Her belly did pouch like this but that was mainly due to the angle I was at along with her pose.

Silverpoint Torso Study

Silverpoint Torso Study

This silverpoint study was created on the last day of a Robert Liberace Upper Anatomy workshop in April 2008. The drawing was made in a moleskine sketchbook (the heavy paper one). The surface was prepared using Pelikan’s Plaka an opaque white casein product that is water soluble.

The model’s name is Adam. He has a remarkable physique. When Rob was talking about the terres major (a muscle group near the shoulder blade) Adam was flexing his to really show you where it is and how it looks. He’s pretty remarkable.
Arm Study

Arm Study

I love silverpoint although frankly it’s difficult to use in classes since many times we only have the model for one evening.

This study was a quick pencil sketch of the back of Adam’s arm. It was drawn fairly quickly in my.
Although it photographs very blue (in real life it isn’t so it’s some idiosyncrasy of the camera), one of my favorite silverpoints is not (technically speaking) well executed. I just like the image of the outstretched arm. We were painting or drawing a model named Wayne. Robert Liberace uses way a lot and the model is featured in many of Rob’s paintings and drawings.
Angel's Wing Study

Angel Wing Study

I had a hard time that evening and gave up trying to draw his entire body and just focused on his arm, It reminds me of the studies of a bird’s wing which is outstretched. As I stated before it’s technically lacking and I can’t honestly say why I like it so much, I just do.



This next painting was made in Ted Reed’s class. Studying with Ted was challenging because he forced me to use powerful/bold colors and to use thick paint. The model in this picture is Alan. Although the skin may see to be very orange in the picture it was an accurate depiction/rendering of the color of Alan’s skin. The lighting was intense and very warm which mixed with the orange from his shirt that reflected onto his skin. This is probably the boldest I’ve ever been with oils.
I had started a 16×20″ painting of Alan that was an unmitigated disaster. Halfway through the second session, I gave up and started a portrait in profile on a toned raymar panel. I painted this in about two hours, I finished what I could because we only had him for the two sessions and I’d wasted one session with the full body painting. Although the color key is high and very different than what I usually use, I really liked this one.


The picture of Zukieka was painting in New Mexico when I first started painting with oils. I am placing this next to Alan’s portrait so that you can see the difference in technique. I think I’ve come a lot further but still have quite a bit to do. I’m also posting a few more pictures of things I worked on this year.
Seated Figure, Oil Study

Seated Figure, Oil Study

The painting on the right is an oil study of a male torso. I have to say that I love how the right arm of the model turned out. The left side of his torso looks odd, but he was twisted oddly and he moved a bit. The main thing I had to learn painting this was to simply be aware of how the smaller sections of light and shadow were interacting across his back.

Detail  From Seated Oil Study

Detail From Seated Oil Study

I included this close up of his right arm because I really liked how it looks. It makes me feel good because I can see how the anatomy workshops with Rob (Liberace) are starting to pay off for me. I may not be able to rattle off the names of the smaller structures (muscles/tendons etc) but I do understand what is below there and am now trying to correctly render what is visible and try to make sense of it.

This one study was completed in one session (3 hours) so it was a race against the clock. I’ve left it mounted on the board I painted it on (and the tape as well) simply because I like how it all looks together.

Charcoal Study

Charcoal Study

Finally, here is a charcoal study of a female nude. I lost it around her abdomen but I liked how her knees looked, I think the lighting was pretty dramatic.

A friend urged me to stay away from charcoal after this session, since it frustrated me to no end, I didn’t enjoy how dirty everything felt and I simply am not that good at it.

Ideally this gives you an idea of what I am working on and my skill range. I am still fairly new to oils, I’ve been painting about 2 1/2 years. I’ve drawn and doodled my entire life but drawing (and painting) from life is fun and incredibly challenging.

Hope you enjoyed the glimpse. I have several other works I like but I felt that this was more than enough to give an idea of what my work looks like; mostly figurative oils, pencil and silverpoint. Thanks for stopping by,

Friday Night Class 10 Aug

I’ve discovered the violet in the clouds was the result of taking a photo in low-light on this camera. I may have to take it back to the store which makes me one sad panda.

The model for this evening was one of my favorites, she’s really nice and she has some really dramatic poses. I was very happy with the silver point drawing. In person this image is pale silvery gray. It’s difficult to take a picture of this type of drawing because the metal in the silver point reflects light.  I also decided to delete the picture of the drawing until I get a better image.

On the plus side, the model loved the drawing and she also loved the picture I painted of her during Ted’s class (I showed her on my camera).  I asked her permission to post the silver point becuase her face would be clearly visible. 

It’s late and I am tired so ~it’s off to bed.