On the Verge of Summer

Tom the Frenchman

Lilibeth Andre, "Tom", 8x6, oil a la prima

Actually, summer has arrived in Houston. My favorite part of summer is having longer days. I prefer to paint from daylight when possible so summers offer me more hours to paint. That in itself makes me happy. So summers are productive and happy times.

I had the opportunity to do two portraits a la prima and I was pleased with the results. They were also fun to paint. A la prima is when you complete the piece in the first sitting painting wet-on-wet. In other words, the wet paint is modeled to give the effect you want and then you’re done. Going back later to touch up after the paint dries is not “on the first”. Care has to be taken not to muddy the work by overmixing paints on the canvas, and that you have your lights and shadows the way you want them. To me, a la prima offers the opportunity to be more spontaneous and relaxed in my stroke.

I finished the portrait of my friend Justin. I had fun with that. He turned out to be a great model and appeared to have a lot of fun being “on stage”. I applied my typical ‘forceful color’ to portray the bold strength I see in  him. He was pleased. And I did a couple of conté sketches as well on the last evening after finishing the oil on canvas board.

Two commissions from one of my collectors to do pencil portraits of his grandaughter and his niece are in the works. We’ve selected the pose for one of them and the other should be finalized soon. I’ll be doing these in French gray under my Vintage series.

I’ll be participating in the Annual Silent Auction of Fine Art for the Houston Civic Arts Association (HCAA). This is one of two main events to support HCAA, a local non-profit organization that has supported art and the area artists for the last 38 years. They also the the Bellaire Arts & Crafts Show twice a year. With these events they raise money to pay the rent. The rest of the years they provide classes and workshops by local instructors and internationally reknown artists. They have monthly meetings and typically have a guest artists do a demonstration before a pot-luck lunch for everyone. They provide a scholarship for young high school artists and sell supplies at a discount for members. The HCAA is manned by a 100% workforce made up of volunteers.

Portrait of Danny

Lilibeth André, "Danny", 14x11, oil a la prima

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About The Artist

Houston, Texas A classical artist and writer that delves in sustainability issues and natural health practices.
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