Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Time For Reflection

Here is another w.i.p of the painting of my daughter Thea. This marks my 50th post! A year ago I started this blog as a way to share my art and to motivate me to get better. I really didn't think that that there would be many people interested in what I had to share. But to my surprise there were. I am grateful for all the comments and those who have shown interest in my blog. I want take the opportunity to thank Charley Parker for taking interest in my art and for helping me reach a larger audience than I could have on my own. I also want to thank my mom for for encouraging me and supporting me in becoming an artist. I want to give a special thanks to my wife and children for their love, support, and encouragement. Without them I wouldn't be half the man I am today. And lastly, I want to thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the talent, and for the beauty of his creations that provide a constant source of inspiration to me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why Not Me?

I have to apologize for the lack of posts. I've been busy with my oil paintings at home. If I ever learn how to photograph them without making them look like garbage I might post a few of them. As always I seem to lose interest with what I am working on and shift my attention else were. I still need to finish the painting of Riley and a few others. So bare with me will I start a new one. This is my oldest daughter Thea. When she noticed that I've painted (or started painting) her brother and sister, she felt excluded. So this ones for her.

Here is the work in progress. For those interested, this is the process: 3 drawings with the values getting darker with each drawing and the brush getting smaller. I also start with painting the shadows, proceed to the halftones and next add the lights, reserving my darkest darks and lightest lights for accents.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Divide Light from Dark

Here is an example of a simple drawing exercise that I learned from Perry Stewart while I was in college. He referred to it as "shadow massing". The idea is that you are to draw the shadow shapes only. The idea behind this exercise is to train your mind to see the shapes of values. In this case the shapes of the shadows. The same exercise can be done for the lights, except you draw with a white pencil on toned paper.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Collaboration Part Deux

Here is my second collaboration ever. Drawing by my 3 yr old daughter and color by me. I love coloring in crayon, for some reason I feel more freedom to explore. This pieces owes some credit to Van Gogh, his pen and ink drawings are amazing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Revisited, Revisioned,and Reworked

I posted this work in progress awhile back. It has taken some time, but I decided to revisited it and change the color scheme. I think there was something wrong that I could quite put my finger on it and I lost interest. I decided to come back to it and see what I could to improve it. After making some changes to the color I found my excitement renewed. I'll post the progress as I go.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Whimsical Meets Beauty

I've been thinking about designing a whimsical character lately and wondered how I could combine whimsical with beauty. So, I conjured up this mental image, and this is what came out.

Friday, September 7, 2007


This was suppose to be a character design for a white rapper. I was going to take grandpa and put him in a suede jumpsuit with tons of gold accessories. But there was something wrong with the design and I was struggling with conceptualizing it. I thought about it for a while and the more I thought about it the more he looked like he needed cowboy boots and then he needed a gold belt buckle to go with it. After adding those elements I said to myself he looks like a sheriff. And as soon as I made that connection painting the character was smooth sailing. When it came to putting him in an environment, I thought he should be in the desert. I'm not sure why, but nevertheless, he is in the desert. I guess I'll leave that up to you guys to figure out. If anyone would like to comment on why you think he is in the desert I would love to hear from you.

As a side note, I want to thank those of you who visit my blog, as well as those of you who leave comments. You guys inspired me to keep doing what I'm doing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007


I've been wanting to design a pirate character for a week or two and I finally put something on paper. The plan is to do a digital painting of him, then to do an illustration with him in it. Should be done in time for national Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pirate Doodles

I'm trying to draw more from my imagination. Here are a few doodles I did. I've been reading about Howard Pyle lately and pirates seemed to be on my mind, so here is what came out.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Awesome Video

Power Mustache

This is a power mustache if I ever saw one. These types of mustache are the envy of every man. There are only a hand full that can produce ear wax strong enough to sculpt the whiskers and make them curl. Hats off to any man that call sport one of these and look studly doing it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Daily Lunch Special

Here is another drawing that I did during my lunch hour. Aside from being a great man, Fredrick Douglas had great hair. It was definitely something to be admired. I think I'm envious.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Old Photos

Finding old photos to draw from are like finding buried treasure. They are like gold because they poses so much character. This makes it a lot easier for me to exaggerate the drawing. This drawing was an attempt to push the features of a female and still try to maintain their feminine. Easier said than done.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When I'm Old

I'm not sure who this is, but I loved the lighting and the blank expression on the man's face. I also find drawing older people more interesting, the topography on their face make for great shapes. I hope I look this cool when I'm old.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Gotta Love The Chops

I would have to say that the mid to late 1800's were the best time in this nation's history for male hairdos. Men wore sideburns, had neck beards and their hair had character. If I ever get bold enough I might just grow a set of chops like these.

I thought I should dust off the cob webs, I haven't done a character study like this in awhile. Maybe, I might even add some color one of these days. 8"x6" in Pencil, total time -45 mins.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Museum Copies

Spent some time copying paintings at BYU Museum of Art. This is a great exercise in studying tonal patterns, design and composition. Here are the results. Ball point pen.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Etching is a skill that I have been wanting to learn for a while, but having found time for it. This is an attempt to copy a etching that Anders Zorn did. I did mine in ball point pen. I took liberties with the copy and tried to make it my own given the limitations of ball point pen. Size: about 3"x4", time: 30 mins.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Tall Order

I decided a couple of weeks to copy a Rembrandt painting in oil. While I would have loved to paint it from the original at the Met, I will have to settle for painting from a photo that I took while I visited the Met. The photo does not show the impasto in the lights. If I get around to it I'll photograph a detail of it. I have about 10 hours invested so far with plenty more to follow. I'll post a photo the painting when I'm finished.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In Progress

Painting update on Riley. Working on painting the smaller shapes. I have to constantly remind myself to paint shapes of color and to proceed from the largest shape to the smallest. My teach er would say start with a broom and end with needle. For those interested I am painting this is Photoshop and I am only using the Airbrush Pen Opacity Flow Brush to paint and the heal brush to blend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

For Those Interested

Here is the progress I'm making on painting Riley. If I haven't mentioned already I am painting this from a photo. Total time: 40 mins.

Friday, June 15, 2007


After talking with my art director* I made some much need improvements.

*My art director is my wife.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Riley: Establishing the Darks

Focusing on painting shapes. In this case the shapes of the darkest darks firsts then stating the shapes of the lighter darks. I'm not so sure I'm satisfied with the color and richness of the shadows. I'll have to reevaluate it next time. Total time: 40 mins.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Riley 2nd Pass

This is the second drawing. I'm drawing with a darker color and a smaller brush. The canvas size is the same as the image size, which is about 12x8 @ 240 dpi. Total time: 50 mins.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Riley 1st Pass

This is an attempt to paint a portrait of my daughter. This is the 1st pass drawing, which is done with a value that is only slightly darker than the background value. Total time - 30 mins.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lines and Colors

My thanks to Charley Parker at Lines and Colors for being today's feature on his website. The web address is: http://www.linesandcolors.com, the address to the feature is: http://www.linesandcolors.com/2007/05/25/jamin-lefave/. For those who haven't checked out the site before it is a great website that features a wide variety of artists from fine art, to illustration, to concept art.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Self Portrait - A Work In Progress

I've been working on this for a while. I am in the process of finishing it before I take up the installments I've previously posted. As a side note - flipping the image horizontally is a great way to see drawing mistakes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

I have been working on this one for a while. I had to restrain myself from posting it prematurely just for the sake of posting something. This is a variation of a painting that got excepted in to the Society of Illustrators Student Exhibition in 2005. I would like to think that this the better of the two.

Monday, March 5, 2007


This is a portrait of my friend Jared Miller. His is a great friend and a great artist. I am think of posting a tutorial about realistic observational drawing. It may take a while, but I am sure it will be useful to someone, even if that someone is myself.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


This is a portrait of my son, Micah. I tried to incorporate more texture, so that it doesn't look so digital. I think I was successful in achieving a very accurate likeness, but we'll see if it passes the "mommy test". What is the "mommy test"? you ask. The "mommy test" is were the mommy looks at the portrait and can tell who's child it is. Amendment March 7th: Upon showing the previous painting of Micah to my wife she was quick to make some suggestions. I deleted the previous painting from my blog made some minor changes and added this image. Hopefully the small changes will make a difference.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yet Another Page From the Sketchbook

Here is a drawing from my sketchbook. I am really partial to the mother and child theme. I definitely want to explore it more. A series of paintings would be great. It has been an ambition of mine since I was in college. I might have to continue to put a hold on that idea until time permits me to devote enough time.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Drawing Exercises

This is an example of a drawing exercise that I like to do. The drawing is a from a cast drawing from the Charles Bargue Drawing Course book. This is a great exercise in and of itself. I use a modified version of the sight size method in my sketchbook which really helps me focus and measure and really observe what I am seeing. After I spend several hours or more drawing I usually wait a day or two or more to draw the same drawing from memory without referring to my previous drawing. I know when I am done because I can't remember anything else to draw. This exercise is so helpful in forcing me to really be observant and to file the information in my brain ready to access at any moment when I am doing my creative drawings. The next step is to redesign my memory drawing, exaggerating some features and the overall shape of the head. I use my memory drawing for reference. I draw just to the right of my memory drawing so I can refer back to it without having to flip the page. This helps me to feel less confined to what I saw in the original, plus it is a simplified version of the original which helps me to simplify things. I take the drawing as far as my memory drawing will let me and then I pull out the original reference and add the details and really refine the drawing. This is an example of the three drawing exercises.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nu Pastel

This is a figure drawing I did in Nu Pastel when I was in school at BYU. Nu pastel is a great medium to work in, you can cover large areas and establish values quickly. I love drawing on newsprint. It seems to be more forgiving than other papers I've tried. The only down side to it is that it yellows and becomes brittle over time. I guess that only matters if I thought someone would be seeing them fifty or a hundred years from now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Page From the Sketchbook

Here is a page from my sketchbook. Most of the drawings from my sketchbook are from observation. Every once in a while I draw from my imagination or from memory.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Making Progress

I took some time this weekend to continue painting the portrait of a friend of mine, Spencer Nuggent. As I had mentioned in a previous post, it had been a while since I last painted it (2 years was too long) and I was a little concerned that I might do something to mess it up. But, I overcame my fears and set the paint brush to the canvas and this was the result. My goal is to finish it by March. I am not happy with the photo I took, I definitely need to make some improvements in take photos of my art work.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Figure Drawing

This is from a figure drawing session at Wahoo Studio. It's where I work. They have figure drawing sessions about twice a month. These are a great opportunity for me to draw from life and sharpen my observational skills. Every once in awhile I am fortunate enough to produce a drawing that I like. This was one of those.

The Power of One

Last night I was flipping through a magazine and saw this ad for The Smile Train. A non profit organization that raises donations for children with clef lips and clef palate to receive corrective surgery. There is a special place in my heart for these unfortunate children. Last year I wanted to become a maxillofacial surgeon so that I could help children like them. So I quit my job to go back to school. You may think I was crazy and deranged, or still am for that matter. But I felt that was a way I could use the gifts I have been given to make a difference. Unfortunately, do to some unexpected events, such as beginning chemistry class, I realized that artists do not make good chemist and seeing that I had no chance in passing the entry level class that there was a pretty good chance that I wouldn't do so well in the remaining chemistry class I needed to take. I also realized that not all worthy aspirations are realized and that I could still make a difference in their lives, but in a different way. I believe that each of us posses the power to change lives, including our own. This ad was helpful reminder to recommit myself to making a difference in the lives of others and to live life to the fullest and let others know that I was here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Work In Progress

I thought a would post an oil painting that I started two years ago. I still have not finished it. I guess I am posting it because it just might give me the motivation I need to finish it. And for those who are wondering, no that is not blood on his coat, its paint that was smeared from the background when I was painting his face.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gotta Love That Afro

This was a demo that I did for my Illustration class that I teach a Utah Valley State College. This was an in-class assignment. The students were to paint a stylized portrait in high viscosity acrylic paint, incorparting tactile texture and use a monochromatic color scheme. I really tried to push texture and exploit the acrylic paint as well as make the most out of the monochromatic color scheme. I did allow students to start with a warm or cool wash before painting with a monochromatic color scheme. The wash is burnt sienna and I painted the rest with raw sienna and black and white.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kneaded Eraser!

Who would have thought that you could sculpt with a kneaded eraser? Well, I was looking at my kneaded eraser one day and thought that it looked a lot like clay and so I decided to put it to the test. This was my result. For those who do not know what a kneaded eraser is I will attempted to explain it. It is a pliable eraser that can be reused and holds what ever shape it is formed into.

My oldest daughter, Thea, was so excited watching Chester come to life she later ask if he could talk to her. What a great imagination.

Monday, February 12, 2007


I did this drawing in my sketchbook and liked it so much that I named him "Chester." I usually don't name the characters that I draw, but I took one look at him and I thought he looks like a Chester. The next thing I thought was he needs some way to get around, so I gave him a unicycle. I was surprised how quickly he learned to ride one of those things. I have yet to ride one myself. Chester was given an early birthday present this year and by the looks of if he will enjoy it.