Thursday, February 22, 2018
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 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
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).
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
Friday, January 26, 2018
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
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
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:(
Monday, December 04, 2017
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:)
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.