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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Algerian Woman Graphite Portrait

Last week it was dreadlocks, the week before it was horn rimmed glasses and this week it is a head scarf! Each week the Reno Portrait Society presents a new and difficult challenge! Our model from Algeria (I am sorry to say I did not catch her name) was serious, subdued and very still. I first tried drawing her in 3/4 view but she had such an interesting profile that after this sketch of about 45 minutes, I moved my position to the other side of the studio.

The next 10 or 15 minutes were spent in quickly doing these two sketches in an effort to get a feeling for the curves of her profile.
This is  the final drawing - taking about 40 minutes. What an interesting model and a productive morning. Now back to the easel.....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Multiplicity of Humankind

Slender, young, delicately beautiful Stephanie posed today at the Reno Portrait Society. She is tiny with elfin features that are dwarfed by her mass of dread-locked hair. She presented an interesting juxtaposition of the sweetness of her face with the tangled harshness of the matted hair.

I also spent a day at the easel with my oil paints doing this portrait practice with the intent in mind of capturing expression and something undefinable - perhaps about the character of the subject. This painting was hard work and I kept wanting to scrape it off but decided to go the whole way with it. Its an imposing presence in my studio while it sits drying on the easel. 14x18 oil on linen.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Lesson in Life

Jolene 1 - graphite on newsprint

Jolene 2 in ebony graphite on newsprint

Jolene 3

This morning I arrived just a few minutes late to the portrait session to find the model already posed, the lighting in place and the studio crowded with artists in deep concentration. Tip toeing to the far corner of the room, I found the only place to set up my newsprint tablet. Unfortunately, it was directly behind the studio light focused on the model and the corner itself was very dark with almost no light to draw by. Complain, complain, complain - I learned a lesson - get to the studio early on Wednesday mornings! I like to do several sketches although most of the other artists work on one sketch the entire time. I was unable to move my easel more than a few inches so ended up with 3 very similar sketches. I will get myself moving earlier next Wednesday morning in hopes of a better spot!

Also working on a British steeplechase scene - oil on linen panel 18 x 24.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More Progress and a New Life Session!

I am taking my time on this big figurative piece. Generally, I am a fairly rapid painter preferring to complete a painting in one or two sessions. This one is demanding a slower approach and I still have a long way to go.

Happily, I found an on going life drawing studio at Nevada Fine Arts sponsored by the Reno Portrait Society! I am very excited and will attend as often as possible. The group meets mostly every Wednesday morning with a live model for portraiture in any medium desired. I went yesterday to check it out and found it was well attended with 7 or 8 other artists and a very interesting model. Roger, who works at the Reno Food Co-op posed for us but I have a suspicion that he is really Genghis Khan pretending in these modern times to be Roger! Any way, here are my two graphite sketches on newsprint. Each one is a little larger than life size - about 17 x 14.