Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Portrait Painting Class, Week 3.

Here's the result from my third week of portrait painting class. It was painted in a three hour session from a live model.

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.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Instructor Intervention.

I'm currently taking two painting classes at Watts Atelier of the Arts in Encinitas, California. While I've painted over the years, I've never had any formal instruction until now.

The flow of the class is that I begin painting, and when I reach a place where I need help, the instructor comes over and works on top of my painting. I then proceed to finish the painting. I really wish I had intermediate photos of the steps, because it's interesting to see the process -- the before and after phases -- the impact of each person's hand and unique approach -- the subtle and nuanced changes. Unfortunately, I only have photos of the finished works.

My drawing (placement of features and shapes) has been pretty good for both paintings -- the instructors didn't have to change much there -- instead most of the work was done on the edges (where two values or colors meet), a few of the values (how light or dark something is), and the background (which for some reason I never address).

Below are my two paintings from the first week of class.

This portrait was painted from a live model, with help from my instructor, Meadow.

This burnt-umber self-portrait was painted from a photo, with help from my instructor, Lucas.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Ray and the Aircraft Carrier.

Spotted while walking along the Embarcadero this afternoon... a ray and an aircraft carrier....

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Rock Poster: The Flowerthief (May 7)

The Flowerthief - May 7, 2009 (click image for larger version).