In open studio today, I really struggled to get a likeness of the model. I can't blame the lighting, my positioning, the paper or the pencils - I take full responsibility. She was young and beautiful with dark shiny hair but, for some reason, she just eluded my grasp. I tried two 3/4 views without success and then threw my hands up in desperation and did a quick 25 minute sketch of her entire figure.
Yesterday, I was in the mood for experimentation and spent the afternoon practicing the portrait in oil using only 4 colors - titanium white, light oxide red, cadmium yellow light and ivory black. It's almost magic how many colors you can mix from just those 4. That part went well, however, as it was just a practice piece, I flipped over an old piece of canvas to use the back entirely ignoring the fact that the canvas on the back is unprimed. Now I know why artists use primed canvas. The raw canvas just sucked up the paint no matter how thickly I tried to apply it - and the paint grabbed the surface so firmly that it was impossible to push the paint around. I continued with it as I was really happy with my likeness of this model but after struggling for about 3 hours, I finally gave up. Oh, well. Live and learn and tomorrow is another day!
What you call struggles are what other artists would call perfection. Your work continues to amaze and delight me.ReplyDelete
You are too kind, Julie. I can only hope I am learning as I am struggling!Delete
Bonjour ma chère Susan,ReplyDelete
Tes dessins au crayon ne sont peut-être pas à la hauteur de tes espérances, toutefois j'aime moi particulièrement celui de cette très jolie jeune femme en entier. C'est ta griffe, ton empreinte qui ressort!
Le portrait à la peinture de ce jeune garçon t'a peut-être fait souffrir, mais je l'adore.
La fougue qu'il a dans le regard et ses mèches de cheveux rebelles sont autant de choses qui ne pouvaient naître autrement après cette lutte acharnée pour que la peinture adhère sur ce support hostile...
Tu aurais peint de "gentilles petites fleurs" cela n'aurait pas pu être possible !... autrement elles se seraient transformées en de gros chardons piquants!
Je suis également subjuguée par les très nombreuses nuances de couleurs obtenues avec tes 4 tubes...
Une publication qui me ravit comme à chaque fois. Bravo l'artiste !
Gros bisous à toi.
I always look forward to you comments, MartineAlison, and appreciate them greatly. You are so thoughtful and generous and I thank you! :)Delete
Because we do not see the model, we are left to see the wonderful drawings. I have never once in my life got exactly what I was trying to draw - and latterly paint - I'm not sure I ever will, so I know only too well the frustration. I'm going to experiment in oils/portraits soon using black, white and burnt umber.ReplyDelete
I'm back in circulation btw :0)
It's all a question of whether or not we are coming closer to what we envision. I have never yet achieved what I set out to do - like chasing the horizon, its constantly elusive!Delete
Well despite the fact that you're not happy with the likeness, none of us know what she looked like any way so we just see the beautiful pencil work! They are fabulous drawings! And the painting is also amazing - how frustrating for you though! :0)ReplyDelete
LOL - I guess this drawing will have to do and will work to make me try harder next time!Delete
Likeness or not it is a great work of art!ReplyDelete
Love everything about this one Susan!
You are so very talented. I am sure the likeness will come when it is ready.
This one is a gem!
I greatly appreciate your encouraging words, Michael. I shall keep at it until I am satisfied (if that ever happens)!Delete
Ongelooflijk wat je met slechts 4 kleuren kan doen !ReplyDelete
:) - many thanks, Simmone!Delete
Happy accidents:)beautyful sketches, you can only learn and going better leaving your comfort zone. (Sorry for my bad language)ReplyDelete
Yes, its all a learning process and hopefully will pay off over the long run!Delete
All sketches are great, especially the second and third one`s. I also like your portrait, brilliant. I went to an evening of sketching from the live model last Monday, and I found it very hard to get something decent. But it was a fantastic experience. I shale be going every time that we have a model now. All the best Susan.
Looking forward to seeing your sketches, Vic - I must admit life drawing is addicting!Delete
no worries, sometimes we don't see until we take a second look. great sketches and the painting is amazing, captured an emotion, a feeling, a look...perfect!!!ReplyDelete
Many thanks for your kind words, Suzanne.Delete
I like the portrait on the flip side of the canvas. I think you handled the roughness of the canvas really well and it's hard to believe that you could get all of that out of those 4 colors. Nice!!ReplyDelete
It was a challenge, Wanda. The variety of color amazed me too - but I won't use unprimed canvas again any time soon!Delete
I give you so much credit, Susan. I went to a few live model classes and I can't believe how bad I did.. it looked like stick figures. LOL...however these are "excellent" sketches and you should be very pleased...ReplyDelete
Thank you, Hilda - I would like to loosen up a bit with these pencil sketches!Delete
It's such a nice portrait maybe it doesn't matter that it didn't go exactly how you wanted.ReplyDelete
Interestingly, one of the other artists said much the same thing to me. She said, "as a drawing it stands on its own merits", but I am still disappointed at not achieving a likeness. I will keep trying!Delete
Susan, I love the piece on the unprimed canvas. It has a beautiful ruggedness to it.ReplyDelete
It certainly is rough! Thank you, Kathryn :)!Delete