Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Covered Jugs and Clementines

Started a new painting, "Covered Jugs and Clementines" 11"x14" oil on linen. I decided to push the drawing towards further refinement before making the transfer on this one. Usually I would stop at the block-in stage, where I'm drawing from point to point with straight lines, but I've decided to step it up a little bit to see what happens. I'm also using a different transfer method than usual. Normally I would trace the drawing, flip it over and trace the back with sharpened vine charcoal and then transfer that to the canvas by tracing again. This time I traced the drawing with a black ball point pen, covered the entire back with vine charcoal, and then traced it onto the canvas going over the lines with a red ball point pen. Then I used brush and india ink to finalize the charcoal lines. So it's a little more exact but there are still some problems. One is that the texture of the double primed linen can make using the ball point pen on the tracing paper a little squirrelly. The other is that sometimes the charcoal can be hard to make out. I was inspired to try this method by the demo I saw on Doug Flynt's blog, but he makes a photocopy of his drawing, then covers the back with raw umber and does the transfer. I may try that on the next one and see if I can get an even cleaner line. I'm trying to streamline my process in order to move forward a bit. Painting is hard enough that I want as many of the cards stacked in my favor as possible before I even pick up the brush.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Eggs and Portrait Study

The portrait is from my bi-weekly figure group. It's on a prestained 8"x10" oil on board. I decided to use a grisaille palette to prepare for the figure painting class that I'll be taking saturdays at GCA. It was a three hour pose, so I had to work pretty fast. I drew directly with the brush and dove in. I was inspired by the small premier coup portraits of Travis Schlaht. The only problem was that one of my fellow artists started a conversation with the model while she was posing, so I got a real lesson in portrait painting on the go!.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Turban Final

"Turban, Rose, and Goblet" oil on linen, 11"x14"

The hardest thing about this painting was that I was dealing with a lot of specular (highlights) light. I couldn't do my usual stepping back, squinting and comparing, because the light would change with each position. In that case I had to pretty much go with my instinct and if it felt right I would leave it. I did go back in and rework some areas without, hopefully, losing the integrity of my first impression. The turban was fun to paint and I might be tempted to try another one. Anyways, this still life was inspired by looking at the paintings of Charles Bargue. I don't know if that comes across at all but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Egg Jars

"Egg Jars" 8"x10" oil on linen on wood. Transferred my drawing to a panel that I had previously stained. Then I decided to use a hatching technique for the underpainting. I'm not sure why, I just kinda felt like it. I don't think I'll do a colored ebauche over this I think I'll just dig in and start window shading it tomorrow. I'll probably start with the eggs in order to key the values in the painting.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Turban

Got the rose in last week and finished the turban today. Took a week off to go camping. No painting, just chillaxing with the family. I can already see some areas that need touching up but all in all, so far so good. I really pushed the chroma on the rose to make it stand out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eakins Study

" Study after Eakins" oil on linen on board, 8"x10". Eakins father sounds like he was the perfect "artists' dad". He supported young Eakins decision to study art. He stuck by his son when he was ousted from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art teaching staff, under what must have been very trying conditions for this stolid family man. He also took Eakins side in the dispute with his sister and her husband, who was a former Eakins student, eventually asking them to leave his household. The pose that he's in also looks very tiring and considering the way that Eakins usually worked on his portraits he probably put in some long hours modeling. In the end though he must have been pleased with the result as Eakins painting has to rank as one of the best portrayals of an artist's father by his son.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Eakins Senior

Last week, I attended a lecture relating to academic art by the artist Graydon Parrish at the Grand Central Academy of Art ( great lecture, very informative!) Since I had some time to kill before the lecture I thought I would drop in at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and look at some of the artists that would be featured in Graydon's lecture. While there I also went looking for some of Eakins work because I've been doing a lot of reading about him lately. Strangely enough, the Met currently has a lot of the American wing paintings on exhibit in some kind of storage room, locked into glass cases. In a way, it's good because very few people seem to wander in there and it facilitates prolonged study. Anyways, I spent a good deal of time looking at "The Writing Master". I've seen it before and it always captivates me. Eakins was a student of Gerome, and Gerome always claimed that Rembrandt was his favorite artist. Other than the story telling aspect though, I can find no Rembrandt influence in his paintings. Eakins painting of his father is a different story. This painting seems clearly indebted to Rembrandt without overly emulating his style. So in between drying times on other paintings I decided to give "Eakins senior" a shot. The reproduction I'm using is only about three inches tall and I'm working on an 8"x10" panel. I'm experimenting with the method I see demonstrated on Tony Ryders site which is to use an open palette (no pre-mixed color strings) and to window shade my brush strokes working from a dark base (the paint on your palette). It's fun to change things up once in a while. I'm sure this is nothing like the way that Eakins worked so I consider this more of a study than a copy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Turban Ebauche

I blocked in the color, thinning it with oms, over the raw umber nad black wipeout. My main goal at this stage is to ballpark my color scheme and to have some color on the canvas to compare the eventual finished work. I will be asking myself questions such as; is this warmer or cooler than it looks now, darker or lighter, less chroma or more chroma. Because windowshading is such a think-on-your-feet type of painting it's helpful to have an underpainting to make comparisons with. I will use the poster study sort of like a color swatch, in that I will be putting my strings of color directly onto the poster, to make sure that they at least start off as an exact match. This helps to keep the color consistent and not piecemeal.