"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, October 19, 2012

Granddaughters of Marc Chagall

 
Oooohhhh - I am so done with this. I believe I painted the second face 4 times before I was satisfied. Finally, finally, finally I think I have a good likeness. In this photograph, the values appear different in the two faces because the paint is wet on one and dry on the other. Once the painting dries competely, I generally buff the surface with a thin coat of Winsor and Newton Liquin. It brings out the depths of the darks beautifully and dries to a low sheen finish.  I will try to to remember to take another photo when I do that. This painting is 14x18 oil on linen board - my favorite support.

Here is the close up of the second portrait. I must admit, this project exhausted me!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Last Life Session

 It seems I always place the 40 minute supine pose at the top of my Thursday posts as it is generally the one I like best for some reason. It could be that I am feeling warmed up and more confident by the time we get to the third pose or that I love the reclining viewpoints the most. All drawings were done in ebony pencil on smooth blue paper provided by the instructor.

 
The model liked this effort as she felt I captured a good likeness of her, however, I found this one the most difficult as the landscape of backs always provide a challenge for me.

This standing pose was 20 minutes and I am most happy with the upper body and mid section. I didn't have time to pay much attention to the drape she was holding.

Fellow blogger and artist John Simlett got me thinking about Winston Churchill lately and  then I happened upon this quote from Sir Winston:
"The way to be happy is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that's impossible to achieve and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it."

That about sums up this art endeavor for me quite succinctly and I hope you are all as happy on your artistic journey as I am on mine!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Double Portrait

Working on a double portrait and the left half came along more quickly than the right. I actually had to wipe off the other face about half way through as I had lost the likeness. She will wait for another day but I thought I would show you the surviving half. Painting an open smile with teeth is quite the challenge and I may subdue these a bit more before all is said and done.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

If This is Thursday it Must be LIFE!

 
 Alejandro, our model from a few sessions ago, returned for an encore today. This was the 45 minute pose and my goal was not only to focus on the extreme foreshortening but to show how relaxed the muscles were and how langorous was the model. Indeed, I think he fell asleep during this pose! The paper was provided by the instructor - it was a heavy weight, smooth pale gray paper with a bit of blue rag in it. I found I liked it alot.


 
For the seated pose, all his muscles seemed to bunch up and become much more prominent. This was my attempt at the 40 minute pose on a thin, pale ocher colored paper.


 
The standing pose had me seated and slightly looking upward at him. This was only 20 minutes and drawn in ebony pencil on the pale gray rag paper. Next week is the last class in this session and I will definitely miss it - these past 5 weeks have flown by!
 
 Thanks for looking and, as always, I very much enjoy reading your thoughts and comments.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Alex Katz - Portrait Practise



Today my goal was to do a loose, expressive portrait and, as the contemporary painter Alex Katz is having a grand exhibit this month, I thought I would try my hand at him. I admit that I am not a big fan of his paintings but I study them nonetheless and have found much to admire in his large scale, interesting compositions and controlled use of color. This alla prima portrait is 16x12 oil on canvas board. It feels finished at this stage even though the clothing remains unpainted. I have included a close up of a portion of the face so the brushwork is more apparent.
Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927 and his prolific career spans an incredible six decades. He currently has a major exhibition at Turner Contemporary which brings together a selection of his works from the 1950s to now, including paintings, collages and a 3D cut-out.