“Mr. Leavitt” 8×10 study oil on board 2014
I saw this man (an artist) at the Oregon Society of Artists meeting in October 2014 and immediately know that I have to paint him. I asked permission to take a picture and transformed the rather mediocre iPhone picture int0 this beautiful portrait.
It was painted straight on Ambersand board without any preparation of the board. I want to keep the white of the board untouched as much as possible. I used the Zorn palette (Titanium white, Payne’s grey, Yellow ochre, and Cad Red medium)
I stopped touching the portrait after 90 minutes or so with the intention to keep the painterly look. I could go on with a softer brush and “feather” out the brush mark and slowly make it photographic. But to me, paintings that look like a photograph is a failure of the artist’s skill and vision.
Khanh N. Huynh, MD
“Buda’s new hat” oil on canvas 8”x10”, 2013
This is a 60 minutes oil study of my son Buda with a new hat. Even though the hat is big for him, he refuses to take it off. I used a limited palette of Cad Red, Ultramarine blue, Yellow ochre, titanium white and Payne Grey (it’s black!) in this painting. I recently learned about the Zorn’s palette and was amazed by the range of color produced by just 2 colors in his paintings. I don’t plan to use only these color exclusively though. However, it is always good to step out of my comfort zone and try something new each week.
Thank you for reading my blog
Khanh N. Huynh, MD
“Buda” Oil on 11”x14” board, 2012.
This is a painting of my son BUDA at 9 months old. We were in Haiwaii for a medical conference (hence the flowery shirt). As his mom was trying to take a photo of us, a ray of sunlight hit his face. .. and the reaction is priceless. A few months later, when my painting skill was slightly improved, I sat down one early morning and paint this cute little guy in 90 minutes. I love the dripping oil paint and facial expression. This painting inspired me to paint 100 small alla prima portraits in a short period of 6 months. Project 100 Portraits (which is now completed) help me tremend0usly in term of speed and technical skill. I now face much less fear and self-doubt when I sit down in front of my easel. I know some artist would look down on the art of the portrait regardless whether it is painted from life or with the help of a photo. However, finishing a 11×14 alla prima portrait in 90 minutes is quite a difficult task since one have to figure out the composition, color choice, and accuracy of subject in a very short time. Because of this intense training, I now no longer use any mean of measurement when I paint (there no time for it) . This activity actually trains my brain and eyes to judge value, shape, and color a lot better than I was one year ago.
Buda is now one and a half years old. He is changing everyday.