Saturday, October 6, 2018

Mural Celebration

I had the opportunity to work with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in completing this mural for the 52nd Street Free Library of Philadelphia.  The mural was designed by Walé Oyéjidé using many images from classical art history.  The theme of the mural is a celebration of beauty in diverse people.

A celebration of the mural will be held at the library on October 20th, from 2 - 4 pm.
Student interns also collaborated on this mural with the intricate patterned borders and Kien Nguyen painted the section inside of the green bordered panel as well as the painting to the left of the library's entrance.

Here are a few images of the people and scenery that I painted for this mural.

Photo Credit - Steve Weinik

Photo Credit - Steve Weinik

Located at 52nd Street and Sansom Street., Philadelphia, PA 19139.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fall Print Sale

Prints are now available at .  To receive 25 % off on Gallery-quality giclée art prints on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks , Stationary and  iPhone Cases, just use code R6UGXJ at checkout through September 16th, 2018.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Process for Amongst Ages Past

I used preparatory drawings of clothing, architecture and accessories, referenced master paintings and worked directly from life with a model to create this painting "Amongst Ages Past".  This piece is a part of The Great Library series and book I am developing.  A sample of the book can be seen on my website

Every day scholars would pass from towering temples to breathtaking pyramids.  Centuries of achievement for Kings and Queens in that land inspired wonder.


The process started with a linear drawing of the portrait to establish the shape, proportion and structure of the face.  This drawing was transferred to canvas using an oil transfer method. Doug Flynt describes this transfer method on his blog here.

I began this portrait in the studios of Grand Central Atelier.  Over the course of three weeks I worked from the live model to paint the portrait.  Each day I progressively painted one form at a time.  I had a general idea for the tone of the background so I painted the border a color I thought would establish the contrast I intended for the piece.  It was more manageable to adjust the softness of contour edges while both the portrait and the edge of the background were wet.  Although I changed the value of this border in places while working on the background later, the initial border color set up a base that was easier to develop upon.

Compositions and Color Study
I tried out some in quick composition sketches.  I settled on the simpler design on the left.

After making the composition sketches I had a sense for where I wanted to place the architecture, clothing and accessories.  Then I made a small study for the piece.  I took a picture of my painting as it had progressed so far and printed it out much smaller.  I explored options for color relationships in the background on this study before I added the scene to the final piece.

Preparatory Drawings
I completed a number of drawings from life to utilize as references while painting the clothing, architecture and bag strap on her shoulder.

I used graphite and white charcoal to make this drawing of the shirt and satchel strap on myself in a mirror.

I visited the Egyptian Temple of Dendur at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art to make this study.  I gained more clarity about details such as chips and the structure of the building elements by drawing the temple from life.  Also, this drawing study gave me a sense of how subdued the contrast appears on the hieroglyphs in life.

I referenced master paintings to inform ways to describe the texture and form of objects.  A few of the paintings I referenced are shown below.

I referenced Bouguereau's Girl with a Pomegrante in painting the clothing.

I studied a painting by Hubert Robert to see how to incorporate the texture and color of ancient bricks.
The relief sculpture in Frederic Leighton's Self Portrait was helpful in getting a sense of  subtle suggestions of form while painting the hieroglyphs.

The background in Alma Tadema's The Colesium was referenced in painting the sky.

This image of Egyptian architecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art guided me in choosing the color for the wall.  Many details were not as clear in this image as when I was making my drawing study from life.

Drawing on Canvas

The design for the piece in the color study guided me in placing the architecture and clothing on the canvas. After painting a layer for the background of the wall I drew the hieroglyphs.  I used vine charcoal to draw with because it is easy to erase.  After the proportions were established with line I was ready to move onto painting the hieroglyphs.

Blocking - In the Hieroglyphs

I painted the larger planes of shadow and upturned areas on the hieroglyphs somewhat loosely to suggest a texture for the wall.   I kept this layer on average a bit darker than the final value I intended for the wall.  I did this because I would be adding another layer on top with broken brush strokes that would be brighter in value to suggest texture.  The contrast of the darker under layer poking through the broken brush strokes in the next layer would create an appearance of a rougher surface.  I used this technique in painting textures of all the objects in the background, including the wall, sky, clothing and satchel strap.  In the sky the lighter layer was used to suggest a softer atmosphere.

After a layer for the entire painting was in place I set the piece aside for a while.  Returning to the canvas I applied a layer of retouch varnish over the painting to bring back areas that had lost their gloss during the drying process.  Paint often dulls in value after oils that are on top of the surface while the paint is wet are later absorbed into the canvas while drying. This layer of retouch varnish or oil restores the value and color to how it was initially painted and would return to in a final varnish.  I primarily used oil during the painting process to restore the color of areas that I would be working on top of or next to.  The mixture I used consisted of a ratio of 2 parts Odorless Mineral Spirits and 1 part Walnut Oil, which produces quite a clear medium. 

With the actual color of the piece restored I then evaluated areas that stood out for me to adjust and made notes on reasons for making changes.  I proceeded to address these concerns one by one while revising the painting.  I would use Oleogel as a medium to slightly thin out paint while making revisions

Below are a few close up images of the painting with the added layer of texture and revisions.

More posts on the process behind my paintings will be shared soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Thank You Grand Central Atelier!

I am very fortunate to have graduated from Grand Central Atelier this Spring.  I have much gratitude to all my teachers throughout the program, Jacob Collins, Colleen Barry, Will St. John, Scott Waddell, Ted Minoff, Tony CuranajJosh LaRock, Devin Cecil- Wishing, Justin WoodAnthony Baus, Patrick Byrnes, Greg Mortenson, Katie Engberg, Brendan Johnston, Katie Whipple, Sally Fama Cochrane, Zoe Dufour, Charlie Mostow and Sandra Sanchez, school administrators, Joy, Justine and Mariya, all the fantastic models, inspiring resident artists and fellow students, art history lecturer, Michael Djordjevitch and everyone who has been so supportive of my endeavors, for making my studies at Grand Central Atelier such an amazing experience.  Thank you.  With your help I have been able to significantly improve the technical expression in my paintings. 

Below are a few paintings in progress from the past month at Grand Central Atelier.  These pieces are being developed as part of a series on scholars from the ancient library of Alexandria.  The paintings are designed to be compiled into an exhibition and book.  To preview the book, "The Great Library" visit here.

"Archimedes Thoughtful" Oil on linen, 20 x 22 inches (in progress)
Color study for final painting
Archimedes was one of the ancient world's most revered mathematicians and engineers.  His research into geometrical theories proved  methods for calculating the density of objects.  These discoveries led to calculating the volume of the universe measured by how many grains of sand could fit into it.  His desire to determine a finite boundary was based on a view of the sun and moon rotating around the earth.  The astronomer, Aristarchus, proposed that the earth rotated around the sun and the expanse of the universe to be vastly larger than it was perceived at the time, maybe infinite.

He suggested that the earth's orbit rotating around the sun was so small that it compared to the size the center of a sphere has in relation to its boundary.  A center could be divided infinitely.  Archimedes could not accept the idea of determining the limit of an infinitely large universe that rotated around the sun.  This conflict left the mathematician caught between a finite and indeterminably large view of the universe.

 "Eratosthenes" Oil on linen, 15 x 19 inches (in progress)

Color study for final painting

 In depth wonder led many scholars from the library of Alexandria to make notable discoveries.  Eratosthenes discovered the circumference of the world.

By finding that Alexandria and Syene (modern day Aswan) lie on the same Longitude  he calculated their distance on  a summer solstice.  He began by assuming that the sun was so far away that its rays were parallel.  Noting that the sun cast no shadow in Syene, when seeing a man's shadow block the reflection of the sun into a well, he calculated the angle of the shadow from a stick in Alexandria.  This allowed him to find the proportion of difference in the distance from Syene to Alexandria along the scale of the earth's circle.  He knew the 7 degree angle shown from the shadow in Alexandria to be 1/50​th​ of a circle.  Therefore, the distance from Alexandria to Syene was equal to 1/50th of a complete circle.  By multiplying the distance of Syene to Alexandria, 5,000 stadia, by 50 Eratosthenes calculated the earth’s circumference.
These are only a few pieces of many that are being painted for this series on scholars from the library of Alexandria.  I will post updates as the series develops into completion.  There is much more to come.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Atelier Exhbition

Four of my paintings will continue to be on view in Grand Central Atelier's "Atelier Exhibition through August 23rd, 2018.

Summer Viewings: May 26th - August 23rd,  Saturdays 12 - 4 PM, Thursdays 3 - 7 PM

Located at Grand Central Atelier, 46 - 06 11th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

The other two paintings on view are shown below.
 "Limitless" Oil on Linen, 9 x 11 inches
"Moonlight Monk" Oil on Linen, 9 x 12 inches

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Great Library ( Preview )

I have been developing a book about scholars from the ancient library of Alexandria.  In the largest library of the ancient world everyone wanted to make the greatest discovery.

Below is a preview of the book.  I am currently working towards completing the remaining paintings for the book.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Grand Central Atelier Year End Show

I will have a number of pieces on display in Grand Central Atelier's Year End Show.  The reception is May 17th, 6 - 9 PM.  The exhibition is on display May 19th - 20th, 12 - 6 PM.  The exhibition is free and open to the public. Located at 46 - 06 11th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101.

Inquires are welcome.  Please contact,