Graphite Drawing


Graphite drawing by Jordan. Learning to draw is not as hard as some make it. You need a good teacher; someone who understands realism and wants to teach you foundation. I can’t express enough how important Foundation learning is. You must learn to understand form and how to create it with warm and cool tones in graphite. Starting to draw with a “Hill and Valley” concept { which I created in my teaching experience } is key to understand more complex skill sets.

I guarantee I can teach you!!!

Oil painting, portrait painting

002 I painted to this point. The hands are wrong and letter, but it will be okay!

Art lessons in Easton, Pennsylvania


Notice the material on the smaller mannequin,  the gray, silver color of the dress. A shiny material can have Refracted light which causes a Reflection in the valleys or deep parts of the folds. These folds are darker in tonal values on cotton for example. Drawing shiny material are small stokes, tedious lines of smooth value ranges.  So, shiny material is classified as 102 level.006

I added a few mannequins to my studio to help me and artist friends with Life drawing, foreshortening views and so on. I want you to notice how the eyeball is a sphere in a socket! Drawing spheres well will help you later on with drawing ans shading portraits.

Oil Painting


Here is a portrait of an artist friend’s wife I am repainting for him. He did a good job for his skill level and ability, but you need a strong drawing foundation for best results.

It is also hard to paint a loved one you miss dearly. When you look at the photograph a flood of memories come rushing back and it’s hard to paint through dry tears or flowing ones. That’s a challenge in itself for any artist on any skill level.

So, don’t ever stop trying to improve your portraiture painting, drawing abilities, just maybe wait and start with someone else, not a loved one.

I have about 20 hours in painting this, but I made the mistake of working over his work, where I should have just started over from fresh. Portraiture in any medium you need a strong awareness in tone, form and how to set forms in paint. Very importantly you need a stronger foundation in drawing and drawing elements.  There is absolutely no way around that fact. I am sorry to say, unless you are God blessed artistically beyond measure you need to do the base work. Along with Life Drawing and MORE Life Drawing.

There are NO LINES on the face drawn in black or brown. The color black or rarely is ever used in flesh tones. Wrinkles on a face are Hills and Valleys in form and shapes; go back to drawing ruffles and shapes as well as material. If you think you can SKIP this process you are wrong.


Another huge mistake is to add darkest hues and tones found around eyes and glasses that you’d find in a photograph; painting and photography are two separate mediums which need two different approaches to create. Lighting is key when using  photography as your resource.

You must paint complimentary to the figure. Yes, likeness and the essence of the person are required, but do not emphasize disorders. Women don’t wear makeup to highlight their concerns and either should you. Have you ever heard, “Flattery will get you everywhere?”.

If you need help with your portraiture painting and drawing realism I can help.



My recent series has been a continuation of self-portraiture and embracing a New Season in my life. Also looking into the depth of my being and leaving no regrets, past relationships  or anything left unsettled  or made peace with. The only way to have inner peace completely is to be one hundred percent honest with yourself on all levels. Is it hard? Extremely hard and emotional.


Oil painting, portraiture


001This is the final oil portrait. An excellent example if you work hard at learning,  a new skill level is possible.  It is all a process, realism that is.  You need to play attention to angles and how they change forms and  where the highlights belong.  Every new skill level will advance form here on. The next painting will include these new learned techniques and beyond.  You can do it with

the right  teacher!                                                                                                        


August 28th.

Okay, Tom is starting to fine tune detail and really look at forms and shapes.

When you find the painting to be “Stuck” in values; therefore the values are stuck in 4,5,6 and 7 start to add the highlight white on the proper section of the forms. This will allow you to see form and the forms should start to create realism. All the fine detailed placement of highlights should start to make the figure appear or resemble the actual person.

This takes time and the more you paint portraits the easier it will become.

Always paint in the direction of the FORM!     Realism is in layers. No EXCEPTION for the medium.

001The skin tones are starting to create forms and structure in the face. There is a spot on the neck where the canvas isn’t taking the paint very well. It could be the brand of canvas or from using paint thinned by turpentine.  Don’t use turp to mix down the paint; use Linseed oil to thin out paint. Turp is meant for cleaning brushes. The turp will break down the binder holding the pigments together. The paint may flow more easier but the paint is worthless and may fade over time. At this point of learning portraiture there are many layers to achieve; but after painting awhile the layers will be less. You should be able to mix your flesh tones sooner than later in which will allow less layers. In other words you will understand how to achieve flesh with less layers because you are understanding form and it’s depth in a value scale one to ten and ten to one.

→→ Very important: Realism is layers and with each layer there is less paint used with smaller brushes. As you learn how to paint form, flesh and wrinkles [Hill and valley, not lines] you will be able to cut out some layering. Always follow the form in drawing and or painting.

In the final layers “Tapping” tone in with the flat top of the brush will help technique. You are after Blending tones and or the Value scale; one to three blend or four to seven blend of tones. You want to paint where the value range of three’s; example one to three, four to seven in range. The goal is to have the tones blend very evenly.

Start with Burnt Umber and Raw Umber for the flesh base and white. Use a red to tint off the main pool of color.

006The red background is gone! That’s good. Red is a powerful color and wants to come forward in space. It will fight whatever it is up against. It is about taking your time and learning with smaller brushes and strokes. Realism is in layers with each layer with less paint and area. KEY! always paint in the direction of the form.

002Here is the before and  below after picture.   Since the color was too red-ish for skin tone, by mixing an oil paint in a flesh tone color with more linseed oil, not too opaque to correct the tones. The under color [ red} will come through and add a tint to the semi-transparent flesh color. Oil paint has a nice blending ability  and when it is not completely dry start to “TAP” and blend flesh tone colors in  value ranges light to dark to accomplish form and building form on the face and neck.     Remember to keep highlights in place, anything light will come towards you and darks will recede in space.                                                004

Fine Art Studio

The header I currently have the pictures are not as clear as in shop? When I have more time to play I will work on it.


I have been busy working on my own portfolio as well as working with my artist friends when I could. Summer has flown by and here it is mid August already! Time for school and getting back to a regular routine schedule.

As far as my artwork goes I finished the large black and white watercolor shown in the center of the header, which I like. Plus, I do need to matte it yet.  Now, I will start to put thought into action on the photography series that  I was working on last spring semester. Not one hundred percent sure where this art series is going, but I have several ideas.  I will know when I get there; plus in the duration producing some beautiful photography. Over all it has been a really great experience thus far.

In between the darkroom come Fall, studio time and family my hours will be filled; just the way I like it. I will make time though for my artist friends. I like to be productive and moving in the right direction.

I am still here!


Olivia is learning to draw faces with charcoal. Starting out in charcoal is the easiest and quickest because the charcoal allows you to smear.

I am in the process of working on my website here……new look to come soon!002

I want you to remember shade or fill in always in the direction of the form! Hill and valley, look at the examples I have about lace or ruffles. Start with charcoal because it shades in easily for fast results. Look at life; such as someone sitting for you for five minutes or a fashion magazine if necessary.

Wanting to learn to draw and paint.

I want to share a few thoughts with you about drawing and painting. If you are becoming frustrated with your painting skills and it seems like you can paint to a certain point, but you know something is wrong? Something just doesn’t look right or you wish you just knew how to proceed and improve your skills. This is why you are frustrated, you do not have a solid foundation to work off of. Remember: VERY IMPORTANT; also draw in the direction of the form. Once you are a master of drawing then you may shade in opposite and various directions. Once you completely understand drawing and your skills can hold their own and understand form and shapes {how to bring them to realism} then painting will be easier and you wont be as frustrated. Trust me with this.*********
***********TRUST ME::::::::once you learn to draw and control value and use the warm and cool tones to your advantage the painting and form will be easier. Always draw in the direction of the form or shape of the objects you are drawing. I will be adding video demos in the next few weeks which will help.

I suggest and recommend you go back to learn the basics  and fundamentals in drawing. Drawing 101…….I have several post regarding drawing and improving your skills, in the search tab in the menu. Also, in the menu there are tabs regarding drawing and papers.

Start with re-learning the values in graphite; the H graphite pencils, [warm tone] and B graphite pencils [cool tone]. Make a value scale from one to ten; the first block is just paper white and the tenth block is the darkest you can get the block. Number five is middle tone; therefore number two block light until block five and block six to ten shaded in gradual seen in the graph. Learn what each pencil can do for you. Notice the hardness and softness of the graphite. H’s are hard and B’s are soft.

Then work on perfecting a sphere. Use a 4H to begin, once drawn well, then add a 2B to the core, the darkest part.

Art lessons

Hello, I am still here working on artwork and busy with family; end of school year obligations. I bought new photography software which turned out to be much easier than I anticipated…..a good thing. Designing new headers and learning new concepts in the digital world. I keep saying I am going to clean my studio…….BUT……I know where everything is! In the new header you can see parts of my studio and myself holding a current watercolor, which I have been trying to find time to work on. I am taking advantage of the nice weather and walking a bit longer and more often.002

See…..I know where everything is! LOVE it.