Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Turbans, etc;

I've completed work on "Turbans, Mermaid, and Rose" oil on linen, 16"x20". Even with all the careful planning, drawings, posters, wipeout, ebauche, etc; the end result is always something of a surprise, in this case, pleasantly. I decided to do a colored ebauche for "Turban, Dog, and Rose" oil on linen, 11"x14", since I was happy with my last experiment. This painting is strictly daylit and a bit of a challenge to see my palette and colors with the clarity that I'm used to, but i think in the end there will be a payoff. I have one last session with Caesar, 16"x20", so I'm hoping I can finish the legs. If I had hired this model myseld I would completely repaint the picture and consider the first pass a finished ebauche. That's because I'm having a hard time with this linen board and I'm not getting as much paint on in the finishing layer as I prefer. Still, it's an okay sketch, and grist for the mill, as they say.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainy Day Painting

Since I'm currently working on a still life that requires daylight, I need something to occupy my time on rainy days so I started a study of this Bargue painting which I've always loved. The reproduction is only a couple of inches so it's been a little tough, but even at that scale Bargues brilliance shines through. As I was working on the drawing block-in I was starting to tune in to all of these internal rhythms and inner curves that crisscross throughout the painting. For a brief moment i felt a kind of mind-meld thing happening and I guess that's the great thing about art is that something can reach out across the centuries and affect someone in a very immediate way.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More "Turbans, Mermaid, and Rose"

Some people might be wondering what's up with the turbans, if they're symbolic in any way. No, I just like painting cloth and the homemade turbans create interesting juxtapositions of light and color. Also, they are featured quite a bit in the work of artists that I admire such as Bargue, Gerome, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. I like having a model wear one of my home made creations because it involves a bit of role playing and by taking the model outside of their ordinary existence it allows me a glimpse into their real personality which will hopefully make for a better painting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Erica" Completed

"Erica with Turban" 9"x12" oil on linen. That's a wrap on this one. I followed pretty much the method of my training and I went straight through from start to finish without any reworking. I worked really hard to make sure each little area was exactly how I wanted it while the paint was still wet. Erica probably wishes I had made her a little more "glam" or feminine, but that wasn't really what I had in mind. I've probably been looking at too many "bashi-bazouks". I'm going to line up a new model and jump back in while my feet are still wet. The study was done on a 8"x10" canvas panel. I usually work smaller but that's the size that my printer spit out and I went with it. I've got to get this one nailed down before the light changes. This time of year it changes very fast.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Turban, Dog, and Rose"

Here's the wipe-out and block-in drawing for "Turban, Dog, and Rose" 11"x14" on linen. This setup is next to a window with semi north light, so theres a lot of chiaroscuro. My easel is setup next to an adjacent window with full on daylight so I can see what I'm doing. The light isn't good in the mornings so I think I'll work on this one in the afternoon and my artificial light setup in the mornings. It'll be interesting to compare the lighting and coloration schemes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Turbans..." Ebauche and Color Study

The color study is on a panel about 5"x7". I took a photo of my block-in drawing, printed it, and then used it to make a charcoal transfer. It made it a lot easier to come up with a mini version to use for a color study. The ebauche on the larger painting (16"x20") has a bit of that dead coloring that comes from working over a wipe-out. I prefer it to doing a color ebauche directly on the white canvas because I kind of like that neutrality to guage my colors against when I do my finishing pass (next stage).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Turbans, Mermaid, and Rose"

16" x 20" on oil primed linen. The drawing block in was transferred using tracing paper and charcoal. Some artists will make a smaller drawing and than enlarge it at a copy center. I like to draw at the actual size because I feel it's a bit like a dress rehearsal for making the painting. After drawing, tracing, transferring and inking, I have the memory of those form lines embedded in my brain, kind of like a golfer practicing strokes. My inking of my transferred drawing is always a little wobbly. I wish I had Doug Flynt's steady hand. It doesn't matter too much because I leave the block-in kind of Bargued out (straight lines only) so that I can do a lot of edge drawing with my brush in the finishing pass. The colors of the homemade turbans are pretty intense and look great under the lights so I hope that I can get half of what I'm seeing, it'll be a good painting. Next step is to make a small study in full color and than I'll just start window shading my way across the canvas.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


16"x20" oil on linen on gatorboard. The model insists on being called Ceasar, who am I to argue? It took me quite a bit of coaxing to get him into this pose. I sort of had in mind Michelangelo's surprised bathers. I managed to get the model's angry determined look at the first session (he really didn't like this pose) and it sort of conveys to me the moment when Ceasar sees Brutus coming towards him. I'd really like to finish the whole figure, so I'm working fairly quickly (for me). I might try and convince my Tuesday night paint group to continue this one past the summer. The one problem that I'm having is that the Classens linen on board just does not have the same characteristics as the stretched linen. I'm having a hard time getting the paint to cooperate. It's sliding around and picking up with subsequent brushstrokes. It's driving me crazy because for once I know exactly what I want and I'm having to fumble around. Lesson learned; if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Erica's Nose

oil on linen. 9"x12" I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to be working from the live model in my own studio, with my own lighting, on my own schedule. The money that I've been putting into part time atelier classes for the last seven years has now been re-routed towards the hiring of models. Have I learned all that I need to know to make successful paintings? Who knows, but one thing is for sure; I'm learning a lot doing what I'm doing.