Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Charcoal Study of Angela.

Charcoal Study of Angela (Conte 1710B charcoal on newsprint, 12x16").

Before commencing on larger paintings, I like to do studies of the reference to get a feel for it.  I did a photoshoot of Angela a while ago and thought this particular pose would make for a good painting.  I don't have any particular recipe guiding which medium I'll use for a study.  It's simply based on whimsy, and for this, I decided to do a charcoal study.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Art: Julie In Wrap.

Julie in Wrap (Oil on gessoed illustration board, 15x20").

I had a photoshoot with Julie to collect the reference.  I then added two layers of gesso to 100.3 cold-press Crescent illustration board.  I enjoy using illustration board.  It provides a smooth surface without getting overly slick like Masonite.  However, it can absorb paint at a medium pace that leaves the previous day's paint a little tacky as opposed to completely dry or wet.  It can be difficult to work with tacky paint.  To overcome this, I added Liquin to my mixtures to give them some fluidity.

I freehanded the drawing on the board in pencil.

I'm taking a class called "Painting the Masters" (see an earlier post) where I paint copies of existing works.  The three master studies I've done thus far have influenced me greatly on this painting.  I freely put in the background and had it overlap parts of the foreground knowing that I could work back into it to create some effects.  I also put the hair in loosely similar to Schmid's Sapphire painting.   For flesh-tone contrast, I thought of Chase's Spanish Girl, where the lightest flesh tones are composed of a ton of white with just a hint of color.

Normally I bounce around a painting, but this time I started from the face and worked largely downward.

This is the background I started with, and while I loved parts of it, I don't know if it was as effective as it could have been.  I added too much Naples yellow in the mix for some parts, which created rather listless and dull patches.  I also worried about the contrast.  I wanted her to feel more enveloped in the painting, so I painted the more swirling background above.  I do like the turbulence of the background below.  I'm sure I'll still change it again.  Backgrounds are always a struggle for me.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sketchbook: Bellydancers.

Belly Dancer I (Pencil in Moleskine sketchbook, 4x6.5")

Belly Dancer II (Watercolor, ink, and pen in Moleskine sketchbook, 5x8").

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Starting Point: Pencil Drawing Of Julie.

Julie With Tilted Shoulders (Pencil on Bristol board, 5x11").

I made this sketch yesterday, and on a chilly Sunday morning, I'm trying to figure out how to finish it.  Watercolor? Rendered pencil? Ink?  Hmmm.

[UPDATE 11/14] Decided to add watercolors.  Still debating on what to do for the background.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Art School: Painting From The Masters.

When I was in junior high, I was told that the reason the Russians didn't have a space shuttle program similar to ours was because they couldn't figure out how to manufacture the heat shield tiles.  They had samples and knew what they were made of.  Identified the components.  Understood the composition.  But they couldn't figure out how to actually make them. How do you take all of these parts and put them together in a manner that mimics the original?

This term I'm taking a "Painting From the Masters" class, and I sympathize with the Russian's plight.  I stare at the paintings I'm copying, and I understand the shapes, and can match the colors, but I still can't make it look exactly like the original.  I have to remind myself that my hand is not their hand.  It's been an interesting process in which I've learned a lot.  I've done two paintings thus far, and have tried to select pieces that are outside my normal style, but contain elements I want to adopt into my own repertoire.

I chose William Merritt Chase's, The Spanish Girl, because I like the deep contrast between dark background, hair and clothing, and the fair skin tones.  I picked Richard Schmid's, Sapphire, because the composition is brilliant, and I love Schmid's balance between amazing draftsmanship and looseness.

Study of The Spanish Girl after William Merritt Chase (Oil on canvas, 9x12").

Study of Sapphire after Richard Schmid (Oil on canvas 14x18").

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Flamingo Skull On Published Newsprint.

Flamingo Skull on Published Newsprint (Watercolor and ballpoint pen on printed newsprint, 10x8).

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I'm Officially An Artist (Pomegranate).

Pomegranate (Oil on canvas board, 10x8").

In a previous post, I mentioned that you're not officially an illustrator until you've drawn an octopus, and you're not officially an artist until you've painted a pomegranate.  Introducing... my first pomegranate.