Bellydancer (Pencil and watercolor, 4x6").
Woman With Red Angel Wings (Pencil and watercolor, 4x6").
Irish Deer and Elephant Skulls (Pencil, pen, and watercolor).
2nd 20 minute session. I established a background and blocked in my darker areas.
3rd 20 minute session. I started "tiling" in the larger areas.
4th 20 minute session. My goal for this session was to get the entire canvas covered.
5th 20 minute session. Fine tuning shapes and values. Adding details and nuance.
6th 20 minute session. Added "flair" as my instructor, Meadow, dubbed the process. She helped me with this stage.
Last 20 minute session. Added final touches.
Here's my painting at the end of the drawing stage and start of the painting phase.
My instructor, Meadow, helped me fix the edges on my cheek (I had too many colors and details there) and added nuance to the eyes and nose. My drawing and shapes have been good -- I'm at the point where I need to negotiate with nuance and subtlety. It just takes some reps.
I used a Zorn palette (titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, and ivory black) and spent a long time on the drawing stage. My instructor, Lucas, helped me design the nose and lips better.
So that you get an idea of what my head block-in stage looks like, I took a picture during class (I apologize for the quality -- I used my camera phone). Starting with a toned canvas (cadmium red light and ivory black), I drew the lines in transparent maroon thinned with mineral spirits. I usually spend the first 20 to 40 minutes of class trying to get it right. If you don't get this stage correct, it makes for a very long class. To borrow from a popular in-class idiom: You can't polish a turd. And to paraphrase from Richard Schmid's teachings: 90% of all painting problems are actually drawing problems in disguise. Point being -- the drawing part is important.
For the painting part, my instructor, Meadow, helped on the background and painting the nearest cheek and part of the forehead. Including the drawing, all the rest is me. As I paint, I'll correct some of the (hopefully) minor drawing problems, so you'll notice some changes between the original block-in and finished painting.
Using a brush and transparent maroon paint thinned with turpentine, I began by drawing the portrait and doing a rough two value layout. I was relatively pleased with how the drawing turned out (I wish I had a photo of it). My instructor, Meadow, painted the lower left part of the face (cheek to the bridge of the nose). It is amazing to see the subtleties she brings to the portrait. All the rest is me.
I started with a toned canvas and then drew the big shapes in transparent maroon thinned with turpentine. My instructor, Meadow, corrected my initial sketch by raising and narrowing the bottom of the nose. After that, it was all me. I felt like I grew a lot on this painting, and was able to apply a lot of what I learned from last week. I paid special attention to edge. I've been reading Richard Schmid's indispensable book, Alla Prima. When discussing edge technique, he says that he'll place one value/color next to another, and to create a soft edge he'll make a single pass with a soft brush along their intersection. I tried to employ this technique -- turns out that I needed more than one pass and often a bit of perpendicular scumbling -- but I'll get the hang of it. If I painted thicker, one pass should be enough. Still a very long way to go, but making progress. I'm particularly fond of having captured the orange'ish reflected light underneath her jaw. Small victories.
This burnt-umber self-portrait was painted from a photo, with help from my instructor, Lucas.