Sketches of Figures in an Environment

Here’s a handful of quick sketches that were done over the past few days. The following questions were common to all four sketches: 1.) How can a series of abstract points and lines be related to a compositional frame? 2.) How can a pictorial environment “grow out of” this series of marks?

1/3rd-Scale Detailed Skeleton Model

A WONDERFUL WAY TO STUDY THE HUMAN FIGURE I just purchased a very good quality model of the human skeleton. The model is designed to be movable, and was created by a painter from the West Coast. The proportions of the skeleton are

A More Grounded Drawing Experience

Figure Drawings and Paintings on Exhibit at the Roost Gallery in New Paltz: November 14th through December 7th There’s a touching set of documentaries about a community of carpet weavers in the Isfahan and Arak regions of Iran 1. These weavers sit side by side at a large loom. They work together on the same […]

Dancing Figure for Survey Painting

The dancing figure that I had drawn last year found its way into a painting that I recently completed.

Demonstration Drawing

Here’s a time lapse video of me drawing my hand (as seen in a mirror). The actual drawing took about an hour. One reservation I have about posting these kind of videos is that they risk giving the impression that drawing from life is a quick and easy process. In reality, there are years of […]

Expression through Composition — Gérôme’s Duel After the Masquerade

How can composition in general — and compositional geometry in particular — help artists express universal human ideas and feelings in specific pictorial scenes?

Julian Lesson with Durer’s Perspective Grid

For the past eight Thursdays I’ve been helping our neighbor’s thirteen year old son, Julian, to develop his observational drawing skills. In an age where anyone can take a photograph of anything in their environment with their iPhone, it seems to be increasingly rare to find a young person who has an interest in directly […]


This is a quick portrait of one of my favorite live models. There was a cast shadow behind her head, which for compositional reasons, I photoshopped out. I’ll have to go back into the painting, and adjust this cast shadow color to something a bit more subtle.

Benlliure Sketch

Got to visit my parents and sister in Spain this past summer. Here’s a quick study that I made of Mariano Benlliure’s bust of Lucrecia Arana, at the Museu de Belles Arts de València.

Geometry as Understructure for Composition

I think that it’s important to emphasize that, even though I use geometric points, lines and planes to study the visual compositions that I include in this blog, the compositions themselves are not necessarily created using geometry. Someone can create a strong design without picking up a compass or straight edge.