Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Self Portrait

I'm still pounding away on this one. I went over the entire drawing filling in all the little spots because I thought it looked a little grainy and I wanted that Camie Davis plasticity. Then I realized that overall the shadows weren't dark enough and that the portrait was looking a little soft, not showing enough of the bony structure that lies underneath, so I washed yet another pass of darks over the surface. I think I'm getting closer to the final range now and once I clean up the drawing I'll be ready to start the painting. One thing that I'll probably do in the future that I picked up in my figure drawing class is to make a small pencil poster study and use that to key the values , because everything looks dark when it's next to white.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Self Portrait

Beneath the Planet of the Apes? Odd Nerdrum's brother? Nope, it's just me wearing a silly hat. I'm making good progress. The hardest decisions are about how much to compress an area, whether it be in the light or the dark. I really pushed it in the eye orbits. Up close I couldn't even tell where I was working. It took a lot of stepping back and forth and adjusting dot by dot. I've been spending almost all my studio time working on this so the only painting that I've been doing is at my saturday cast painting sessions. I felt like I was ready to push for a detailed, life size, portrait drawing, since I hadn't done one before. The only thing is that wearing that balaclava for a couple of hours at a time is really itching my scalp. I'm thinking of getting a military haircut.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Portrait Drawing

I've started turning the forms on my self portrait. I apologize for the slightly skewed photo but I don't want to move my easel to a vertical position or change anything in the setup that might alter the light. In other words I'm trying to keep things as much like a controlled environment as I can. The work is hard enough to get right as it is without throwing other factors into the equation. I've been reserving my real darks for the balaclava and that has made me want to scale back the darks in my face but I may have to go just a bit darker. I like to stay with one pencil . hb, and get as much range as I can out of that. Kind of like working with a limited palette.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Balaclava and Gaul

One of my goals for the new year was to do a self portrait so here goes. I'm wearing the balaclava because the light source hangs pretty close to my head and I didn't like the bright spot on my forehead. A hat would have cast a shadow. The cast just happened to be hanging on the wall behind me and I thought "what the hey" why not put it in. Right now it's at the block=in stage. I plan to work up the drawing to a highly refined finish , and then do a painting.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Apple Tea"

"Apple Tea" oil on linen, 11"x14" 2010
Even though my current approach to painting is to try to finish in one skin, windowshading as I go, alla prima, I'm getting the feeling that I'm more like leftover Lasagna. I taste better the second time around after re-heating.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Jaw Bone Final

I gave the background another pass, and I worked up the lights a little thicker and brighter, all over. I also darkened the shadow side of the book because I felt that it was competing with the lights. "Jaw Bone and Book" oil on linen 8"x10"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Apples and Bargue

Happy New Year!
I've gotten a little further along in my "apple" painting. The black iron tea kettle took a lot of concentration to get the form and the shape of the light while maintaining it's corrugated texture. I'm putting some detail of the hanging cloth in the background but I'm keeping it at block-in level, as I don't want any detail to jump forward.
My wife gave me the Bargue-Gerome drawing book for Christmas. The book itself is a work of art, really incredibly done. I've got quite a few cast drawings under my belt so I thought I would skip ahead to section 3. These are life drawings made by Bargue as demonstrations for students to copy. It's incredible how Bargues knowledge of anatomy and gesture informs these drawings without overwhelming them. You can easily find the position of the ribcage, pelvis, and clavicle in every drawing. They are made with sweeping, confident lines that also make clear what is meant by "inner curve".
Anyways, I've been copying them, one a day, giving myself a twenty minute time limit. My goal is to have the entire block-in complete. One of the things that my drawing instructor at GCA is hammering home is that figure drawing is not like still life drawing. The model is not still. You pretty much have to have your "drawing idea" and block-in done in that first pose before the model takes a break(usually about twenty minutes). I also have not been using sight-size, as the book recommends, or any measuring tools whatsoever. My goal is to train my eye to scan for comparative measurements. I start off marking the base line and top of my drawing, then a plumb line, and I stay within those parameters. So far my efforts have been a little clumsy but I do see improvement down the road.