Sunday, November 23, 2014

L.W. Roth, The Oldest

One morning with Henry, the next with Holbein, The Younger's painting of Erasmus, painted in 1523

Erasmus must have been the
model for Scrooge. He
has a very slight smile that
looks like he doesn't
smile much. 
Erasmus's eyes are too open in my sketch, but Ellis walked into the session with his second cup of coffee and I was distracted  by talk of what goes to the cleaner, bathing suits not fitting over our bellies and what's all this junk on the couch? I told him to shove over my too small discards and take a seat. I was enjoying the  banter.  --But while chatting about nothing important,  my artist's eye was noting Holbein's elegant skin tones--tones to aspire to later in the studio.  Holbein is,  as Schmid suggested, an old master to note.  There's a lot of linear edges in this portrait done in what looks like Burnt Sienna--or Transparent Red Oxide?  The guy had a real light touch and knew how to render a curve.  If you look closely at the painting, you can see Holbein's brush strokes; they follow form. I do suspect he used glazes, wheras Todd Burroughs, my instructor on the Venetian Tecnique, does not.    Holbein used very light lines in his drawings as well as his paintings and  then some color washes. Somewhere during my Holbein observation, I changed over from a General 370something to a Berol HB. I needed to lighten up my heavy hand.  HB wasn't light enough.  I got a 3H. 

My study of Holbein's portrait of Erasmus launched a new sketch book, but there were sketches in the old one that have painting potential--in 2015

Piggyback with Brittney and JD.  JD was fine, but I cropped Brittney out of the drawing. I made such a mess of her, she needed her own study.   I also did a separate drawing of JD's hands clasped around her neck.  For that sketch, I constructed a little grid within the free hand drawing.   You use whatever tools you have to get the measurements, right.

This gal has got hypnotic eyes. 

Then Henry and Alison.
A study of how these two heads fit together done after the sketch in my last post.

Sargent's Gabriel examined by LWR. 
As I was studying a Sargent drawing this morning and trying to mimic his elegant strokes, I started to wonder why am I doing this?  Holbein's skin tones noted will  be helpful, but copying Sargent's line/mass drawings may be inhibiting my own development?  Sargent is dead.  He had an elegant touch--as did Holbein.  My touch is bolder.   I stopped trying to reproduce Sargent and began looking at the subject--his glorious hair, the proud stance, the haughty look in his eyes--and making my own marks.  We all  have artists we admire, but when it comes to putting down a mark, it's our own that counts. 

 Everyday, I scumble a bit more, just a bit, for my  patience runs out quickly.  Eventually, however,  this elder will finish it--I'll just be an older elder-- I'll be L.W.Roth, The Oldest!  OMG!

I am down to working out  details--the drapes, the window casing,  the arms, the view out the window--all are a matter of balancing the values and treating the edges.   I decided to do a separate study in color of  the scene out the window  the other day, but it was an alla prima wipe out. That area has to be treated as carefully as the rest of the elements.  My failure tipped me off that I've had enough painting for a while.  I am pleased with how this one is going.  It's just going to have to get there next year.

If weather permits, I'm taking it  to class tomorrow for a critique.  After that,  I'm through for the Holidays. The next paintings you'll see posted will be watercolors. They will be colorful. They will be abstract.  They will be fun. They will be free.   Have a lovely holiday season. Drive safely, have that extra glass of hooch at home--otherwise, get a cab.  Don't overdo on the Christmas cookies. Too many cookies in December spoil June. Cherish your loved ones even if they have no sense of humor and hate the reindeer sweater or the polka dot socks.  Tis the season to be jolly. Laugh and make merry.  Hugs to all and to all a good night.   Linda


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thirty Minutes With Henry

Henry With Allison

A thirty minute. six by six inch, sketch of the day. My thirty minutes with Henry, my dear brother in-law who passed away way too young. My niece published this photo on FB. I immediately downloaded it. This young dad reading to his young daughter is worth more than a sketch. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pinch Me!


Aquamarine seas, sand and palm trees, a daydream that will become real in two weeks.  Pinch me.