In this 7-hour, two disc, instructional documentary, I really wanted to weave together my philosophies on painting as well as how I paint technically. In "Painting A Life", we get to know the subject, Jaece Lutrec. intimately -- her thoughts, feelings and her life as I paint her.

Painting, for me, is my way of understanding the world around me; a way of slowing things down to carefully observe life. It was really important to me that this film illustrates not just the step-by-step process of how I paint, but also depicts my patient search to understand my subject.

To encourage a full understanding of the process, I completely vocalize my thoughts on how I use broken color to develop lifelike skintone and how I use color temperature, value, texture and brushstroke to turn form. I also discuss how to train your eye to see these subtle color shifts and transitions.

In my approach to direct painting (an integration of academic and organic techniques) I strive to demonstrate how we never lose sight of the model's emotional character.

Included is a full discussion of my materials (brushes, mediums, paints, etc), how I prepare my painting surfaces, my studio setup and lighting, how I transfer my drawing to my painting surface, a brief introduction to my drawing process, and a field trip to Vasari Classic Oils Colors to discuss of all of the paints on my palette and their properties and history with Gail Spiegel, Vasari's color expert.

The essence of this DVD is how I develop a full understanding and interpretation of what I see and synthesize that into a painting that captures the subtle character, emotion and life of the sitter.

Generously Sponsored by these fine companies.

ISABEY Raphaël

Isabey and Raphael brushes for the last 12 years. Both Raphael and Isabey use only the highest quality materials. I literally buy Isabey Kolinsky 6227z brushes by the dozens, the length of the hair in this brush lets me delicately flick paint on to the painting surface so that I can build up my different color hatches. The Kolinsky Sable which is almost as valuable as gold is well-known for its finesse and softness, its resilience and its expressiveness. The process of manufacturing Isabey brushes is still entirely manual. The knotting, the turning and

General Pencil Company

I was first introduced to General Pencils at the age of 15 when i took my first figure drawing class at the University of the Arts in Philiadelphia. I’ve been really brand loyal for the last 20 some odd years. and have grown to know and work with the company to develop useful products for other artists. They are a family owned and opperated company that works hard to get to know their customers and they make some amazing products.

RayMar Art Supplies for the Artist

RayMar Art, is a small Mom and Daughter company that specializes in painting surfaces and carriers. They are an exceptional company that really works hard to get to know what painters are looking for in terms of new materials and finishes. Recently they just started making dibond panels that have Arches oil paper attached. The surface is a dream to work on and is the surface that I use in this documentary.

Arches Oil

I stumbled on Arches oil paper while teaching in San Diego last year. One of my students was using it to paint on. As I helped her with her paint application, i noticed how well the paint adhered to the surface and how well the paint would blend and melt into the subtle weave of the surface. When I returned home I bought a bunch of it to experiment with and now almost use it excluively. RayMar Art is going to be making Arches oil paper panels soon!

Vasari Classic Artists' Oil Colors

I still remember the first time that I wandered into Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Color’s Store twelve years ago when they were located on Prince Street in Soho. My eyes got wide when I saw the huge mixing table with all of their paints out for artists to “play with” I also met Gail Spiegel the Vasari Color expert and I’ve learned so much from talking with her and playing around with the paint on that mixing table over the years. She is so forthright with her knowledge and the paint is in my opinon the best on the market for its handling properties, purity and intensity of pigment load. Included in this documentary is a color discusion with Gail and myself about all of the color

Artrage 4

ArtRage 4 is the most robust digital painting program on the market right now. I have used it a number of times to do ipad and tablet paintings over the last couple of years. Its strongest attribute is its ability to mimic the effects of real paint texture. It is this tactile look to the paint surfaces that make the paintings look like they were done using real traditional media, like oil paint unlike the flat digital airbrush quality of photoshop. In this dvd i used ArtRage 4 on a sony Duo laptop/tablet to do a black and white value study of the model.

Jerry's Artarama

Jerry’s is another family owned and run business that really supports the arts community and really treats their customers like family. They first opened in 1968. They have a great selection at great prices, and carry a lot of the materials that I use in this documentary. Links to these products are provided in the above online materials list.

Parallel Palette

The Parallel Palette is something that I developed over the last 7 years to help me paint in a more efficient and fatigue free way. While I was a student at the Art Students League, I developed repetitive stress disorder in my lower back as a result of regularly rotating from my canvas to my palette, which was either in front of me, or off to my side. One day it hit me; wouldn’t it be much easier on my back if my palette was right next to what I was painting? After half a dozen experimental designs, I came up with the idea for the ParallelPalette.

Pan Pastel

Pan Pastel is such an amazing product. I start all of my drawings is a painterly block in with Pan Pastel, it really gives my work the freedom of movement and rhythm right at the start of a drawing, which is great for such a controlled painter. The Pan Pastel black makes a velvety smooth dark that can't be achieved with charcoal alone, its really special stuff. I have been using their products now for the past 5 years and i can see a huge improvement in my work over that time which I believe is in large part due to Pan Pastel.