Tag Archives: portrait

The Legend of Saint Antonio & El Nino

I wanted to paint from a master painting.  I was searching around and I came up with Murillo’s “Saint Antonio of Gadua & El Nino”.  When I visited Seville last winter, I saw this painting and I got a postcard of the image.  Religious paintings are often complex and challenging because there are so many layers (more than emotional too) to contend with.  I knew I had to paint it and somehow my style will come through.



I started the painting figuring out where the colors and values go.  The first stage, as I like to call it, the embryo stage of painting.  It looks like an abstract painting and miles from the destination.  Slowly, the forms, values and shapes come together and become tighter and more refined.  Faces and bodies start to appear.  The more you paint, the more details you start to uncover.  I had to make early decisions what to put in and what to leave out.


As you can see, the forms are starting to take shape.  The lights and darks have their place.  I started with the large masses and now I’m refining them by filling in the color and details.



The colors and masses become more full and I’m continually refining the facial features, the lights and darks.  Though I’m aware the composition is a bit different than the original, I try to remain faithful to Murillo’s painting.  But not just to copy, to make it my own.  If the human connection between Saint Antonio and the child isn’t there, the whole thing won’t work.



The last stages include warming up the flesh colors, and both figures have their own. And that’s intentional.  The fingers were also important, and even the toes.  Finally, the blue flowers were added like the cherry on top of a sundae.  It was very fulfilling to do this painting.  It’s great that I challenged my own skills to paint this, and it will be exciting to see how future paintings will turn out.

A Woman of Sakura – Completed


~ A Woman of Sakura  8.75×11  oil on board
©Joshua Lance



Let’s see the process with minimal words here…



It all started with a trip to Kyoto, Japan…


Mixing the palette for the right color combinations


Filling in the hair and face set the stage for everything else.


Painting the kimono was a technicolor delight! One of my most colorful paintings ever.

Why retreating is good (& coming back strong is better)

'Taos Pueblo Dog'


Why is my website changing again?  And what was I doing the last few weeks?

a – did the “caveman” thing and retreated to my cave.

b – went senile and found myself…in a thriftshop.

c – quit the art life, now I’m a certified monk.

d- changed my last name to “Picasso” so I’ll finally get some recognition!


If you answered any of these, well then I must be pretty convincing, but no.  None of those things are right.  Though the Picasso idea did cross my mind, hmmmmmm…..

The last few weeks I was going through some major life changes.  There was a time where it was very difficult to do my art.  I “allowed” myself, perhaps for the first time in my life, to make art without expectation.  Expectation can be a dirty word, as you may set yourself up for failure.  Failure of what?  Being a lousy artist or fraud?  Some of those ideas popped in my head, and I made it pop out once I grabbed my graphite and started drawing.  Seems like art can wash away the grim and crap of the material world.

But other changes were not physically done, more of a mental questioning of my beliefs.  Why am I working a day job thatis making me miserable?  Why am I still in Albuquerque?  Why am I still doing art?  Should I do landscapes or portraits?  Or both?

 These are just a few of many, but they all seemed to bombard my mind at the same time.  That’s what made it so tough this month.  I’m grateful I sold a small painting, and even my old Mac that I wasn’t using anymore.  I have also been throwing out or donating stuff that I don’t use anymore.  Rather small things like some clothes or other junk in my home.  The present moment can be real difficult to be, I can understand why people always focus on the past or future instead.  It’s relief from the present pain.  But is it unhealthy to focus away or deal with it head on?

And last I redesigned my site to a “no-frills” theme.  It suits me just find, very simple and uncluttered.  No fancy logo or type.  Just what you see is what you get.  I love the warm white color, it helps humanize the feel of my site.  I love that my name and description are up there and quite a simple font.  The art and words are bigger than my name, that’s the point.  That’s the way it should be.  My landscapes and portraits are now separate pages.  I used a new plugin called “Extend Images” which blow up the image after clicked.  It’s a nice, cool surprise.  You can even move it anywhere in the site.  The presentation of my art has never looked better.  Especially this pueblo dog painting I recently did.  And yes, commissions are available!  Give me a shot at your pet, let me amaze you. 

I feel very proud
of this latest incarnation.  A timeless
website full of great art and writing.
That’s all I really want.  That’s
all I really have to offer.  Hope you
still follow me.  You can’t stop
evolution, and that’s where my life is now.