Thursday, February 22, 2018

Two Day Drawing Marathon, Day 1!

Here are a few drawings from today's 2-day 'Drawing Marathon', led by artist David Fox.

In this 6 hour class, we warmed up with 5-6 short poses, then we did a series of exercises that incorporated a new drawing process with each new (and longer) pose.

For instance, we tried focusing on a single body part and making it gigantic, working on a collage-ed surface with color, adding elements to the figure for a more interesting composition, etc.

The best part, for me, was working really large. It was a wonderful to loosen up, and experiment with each drawing.  Tomorrow, on to day 2!

Sandra's Portrait 2 Ways (Oil Studies)

Sandra was a great model, with a Mona Lisa Smile. But after 4 weeks, I was finished. So, I painted her 'alla prima' in week 5. Here are the two portraits, side by side.

While the colors are richer and likeness better in the on the right (4 weeks version), there's a lot to be said for working faster -- especially if I could learn to mix and put down better colors, from the get go. A good exercise:)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Three more portraits (studies in oil)

I'm in 2 different portrait classes. The 2 paintings on the left were done in a single session, the one on the right was done over 4 weeks (using a different color palette, too).

Ismael Checo (Rye Art Center) gets you to work FAST.  One 2.5 hour pose, then time's up! You achieve a likeness using proportion, value, and by seeing color, mainly skin tones.

Andrew Lattimore's class (WCC) is based on a 5 week pose. Plenty of time to work things out (or, in my case, maybe too much time!)  Andrew stresses value and proportion also; when teaching color, his approach is more experiential.

Hopefully, all this experience will kick in over time. The oil painting gods will smile, my paintings will become fresher, bolder and more beautiful ... painting nirvana:)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New York City After a Snowfall - 12" x 12" Pastel

There's something magical about NYC when it snows ... a little grey, a little sparkly. An urban Winter Wonderland:)  Even the slush is pretty (unless you have to walk to work in it!)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Oranges (Homage to Carol Marine) - 12" x 12" Pastel

I've talked about returning to daily practice for a while now. Today, I decided to just get going already.

I spent the first 2 hours looking for a subject!  Finally, out of desperation, I decided to paint oranges a la Carol Marine, because first -- I love her work -- and second, it's what I had handy in the kitchen!

I still can't explain my procrastination, except to say that getting started is the hardest part. I've also read that when you put off doing something, it's because you're afraid of not doing it perfectly. I think that's true.

After the painting was finished, I felt pretty good!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Girl With A Red Scarf (Study) - Oil Painting, 16" x 20"

Back in Ismael Checo's class at the Rye Art Center, working in oils after a long holiday break. 

Today's model was great fun to paint -- and as always, the easy part was the likeness. The devil, as they say, is in the skin tones!

Ismael rightly pointed out quite a bit of green in the cooler shadows. His advice: approximate the flesh tones -- decide the color value and temperature, and then push it.

I really fight using green in skin, but damn, he was right ... there really was green in her skin tone!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Painting Challenges: Faces vs. Bodies, Warm Colors vs. Cool

In my weekly oil painting class, we're encouraged to paint the head. But today, I decided to paint the full pose.

Instructor Ismael Checo warned me that 2 hours wasn't enough time ... but artists like Terry Miura (figurative work here ) paint the figure alla prima, so I went for it. Turns out, that takes much more experience!

Here's what else I learned:
  • Clothing vs. skin tones: Once you get the proportions right, you can fudge clothing colors much easier than skin tones. Blue pants read as blue jeans. A blue shadow on a nose, not so much! 
  • Color temperature: I painted the shirt pale blue, until Ismael pointed out that it's really a warmer color. Ditto the sweatshirt highlights. My instinct was blue, until he suggested something warmer.
  • Hands and feet take practice! Note to self: Do your homework (draw 100 hands and 100 feet). My sketchbook friends already know this.  
  • The head matters.  I was so focused on details below the neck, his head became an egg on his shoulders, and his facial features came out totally scrunched:(
So ... back to painting the head next week (hopefully, no blue noses) . Practice sketching more hands and feet! And notice if colors are warm or cool, compared to adjacent colors.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Free Wifi (9" x 12" Pastel)

In order to get better, it's essential to paint more frequently. These smaller studies can be done in 2-3 hours, so there's really no excuse!

This guy was waiting for a train the Graham Avenue subway station (the L subway line), in Brooklyn, NY.  Or, maybe he worked there ...

Not so fond of the color palette here -- maybe it's all too cool -- and clearly the hands and feet need work. (According to artist and drawing instructor Melanie Reim, a good goal is to draw 100 hands and feet, just to get the anatomy down).

Even though I'm less happy with this one, it's all in the name of practice:)

Monday Morning Hustle (Pastel, 9" x 12")

This one was lots of fun to paint.  

First of all, I'm reading Carol Marine's book, which has great advice about composition, values and more. 

And a recent life drawing workshop* with illustrator and teacher Melanie Reim helped me to notice proportion and movement.  

*Over two weekends, we drew over 100 figures -- with poses varying in length from 1 - 10 minutes.