In one of my earlier classes at the Art Studio my instructor at the time Jake pointed out that I should try working with oil paints if I was going to focus on portraiture since blending with oils is much easier since they take longer to dry. I wanted to stick with Acrylics , I spent enough on them and felt they worked with my “Pop-Realism “style. At Art events(Expo, Scope, etc) when asked by Artists I was speaking with if I painted…I shared pics of  some pieces I did and a number of them including Robert Hartshorn said “you should try oils”. So off  I went to Blick and purchased the Gamblin portraiture set and tried them out (see below) at home. At an MLG Art Gallery Opening  I showed them to my friend/sales consultant Alyson C who is both honest, fair and takes pleasure in busting my chops she said…”you’re still painting as if your using acrylics”.”

Three times the charm so to speak and I signed up for Oil 1 and 2 at The Art Studio NY with Biljana(who goes by “B“. Not so much a celebrity thing as much as she feels most Westerners cannot properly pronounce her name. Which is likely true due to my experiences mangling the names of Russian and Eastern European girls over the years. Though in all fairness, I’m from Brooklyn and can barely speak proper English:) She like all the instructors I’ve had here at the Art Studio is very hands on, supportive and more so then most… objective(Read: critical in a constructive and very beneficial way). I come here to be “pushed” and expand my horizons…so I want to hear what I’m doing well and where I need improvement(plenty:) In a short amount of time I learned a number of things from B including…


Since oil dries slowly you can just wipe it away vs painting over it in white like with Acrylics


Turpernoid is for primarily for cleaning brushes(I was using it to water down my oils), Linseed Oil and the like for Painting

Painting in “glazes” (layers overlapping over each other) gives the painting a “painterly”(it seems to be an Artist/Art teacher term) look. Think more realistic without being photo like…Q-tips and cotton swabs work amazing well to blend with, using ones fingers with oils not the brightest idea


I’m overly obsessed with “cat-eyed” and Eastern European looking Women

The importance of getting up and looking at the painting from afar, different angles and backwards via a mirror



Below is the progression and evolution of Shhh…from initial layout and wash through her various back and forth changes to the completed work. She was rather challenging,  especially her hand(B helped me with this dramatically) but I think…well you decide, like they say “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The highlight of this set of classes was going through with B the pics I took of the progression (see below) of Shhh...and seeing how psyched she was of how Shhh… evolved from start to finish. I’m continuing on with another class so stay tuned for lessons learned and new works.


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