Sunday, September 3, 2017

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Painting Caravaggio's Judith

Michael Rousseau - Caravaggio - Judith study
I have decided to tackle a portion of a Caravaggio painting to better understand his technique.  "Judith Beheading Holofernes" is the painting I chose, and I am going to focus on the head of Judith.  There are a few theories as to how Caravaggio was able to stage and create his dynamic images, but for now I want to focus on the paint application.  Maybe another time I will attempt his full technique, because I think he used the camera lucida, but I haven't had a chance to try it out. 

I am painting over an existing piece that never really went anywhere.  It has a lot of Mars Black on it, which I do not intend to use as my black for this piece. I will be using Ivory Black.  The Mars is VERY blue. What I have learned thus far is:
  • Caravaggio's "drawing" is superb in this painting. The face is extremely well rendered. 
  • His use of reflected light is beautiful.
  • The attention to detail is very interesting, and carefully observed.
  • I know he painted with glazes after establishing his form and lights - and that is what I'm doing too.   
  • I keep putting down a fairly strong white (with a touch of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and cad red) and glazing over it.  It seems I am getting a decent likeness of paint, but because I do not have an underpainting - or even a decent ground,  I am getting a semi-dull color.  It is tricky to get the warm tones to shine through working off the Mars Black....  I know he painted off a warm ground.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Show - February 7-28, 2014

I have a new show opening as part of the 3rd Annual TEN SPOT show at the Lichtenstein.  10 artists were invited to show work.

I recently re-worked the ol' painting Balance Rock-  and decided to include it in the show.
I had originally planned to include figurative works as well, but when they were installed, it just didn't gel with the rest of the show.

I had been working on new pieces called "The Golden Hour" and was excited to get a few of them into the show instead.

Friday, July 12, 2013

end of show

Salon Style ended last week.
The work was wrapped in 6mil plastic
and is ready for the time capsule
to be opened in 50 years.

or until I do another show...

which I learned I can do.
my response was good.
my system was good.
53 pieces installed.
it looked great.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Salon Style

Here comes the show.
I've been working on this for over a month now.  40+ pieces. This show will contain work spanning the past 4 years.  Many have been in storage or taken off their stretchers and rolled up, never to be seen again.  It will be hung Salon Style - meaning wall to wall - floor to ceiling - with only a few inches between each piece.

Most have been dusted off, put back on the easel, and asked: "will you be in my show? Yes or No." The No votes get a second question: "Is there something I can fix?"  If this answer is "Yes" - it goes back on the easel for a makeover or touch up.  Sometimes completely painting over the entire image, other times adding the elements I wish I had added, or fixing passages that never came out right in the first place.

Re-painting can be destructive - but the philosophy is this - It was destined to be in storage anyway, so why not try to make it beautiful.  It can not get any worse than it already was.  and besides.  I am confident enough in my abilities that I can resuscitate any dead canvas.  and if it doesn't come out? It was No anyway.

Come on by and check it out.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I'll post more as I make them.  they are all mixed media.... joint compound, spray paint, enamel, acrylic,  epoxy.  most of these are 2'x4'.  I've got two more in the works.  32"x32"