Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Grid, A Grind, But Solid Drawing

First phase of The Venetian/Flemish Old World painting process: 
A Grid on the canvas that coordinates numerically with
grid drawn over the reference photo as a drawing/sizing guide for the draw-in. 

SOME ARTISTS USE TRACING PAPER for enlarging and transferring references or drawings to canvas, but I like the more hands on grid method. Sure, it's slow,  but tracing just isn't intimate enough. Relationships and measurements aren't as clear, nor is the fact that the pencil lines themselves have width that must be taken into account during the paint process if accuracy is a factor. And It is in portraiture. All of this info is revealed as you  touch every part of your subject with your pencil as well as the areas that might need a closer look.

 While drawing in Morris, side studies were suggested:  his head lost in obliterating lightness and darkness, his hands, the hands of a maestro, the head of the guitar with its head mechanics--the details  the candid snapshot missed.   Penciling him in slowly points out where to pay attention when the objective is a solid portrait with an immediate likeness. It's a lot of a grind, but a good tool for accuracy.

MY OBJECTIVE ON THIS DRAWING was to come up with a profile drawing for Facebook that was more upbeat than the one I was using.  I mugged for the camera of my iPad, printed it out in black and white and then, for some odd reason decided to try the Conte crayon I picked up on sale.  Well, the Conte pushed me to pull out my pastel pencils for this 6" x 8" sketch and sent me over the top on fix-its for a simple, daily morning, 30 minutes, more or less, drawing session; my format was too tight.   And what a mess!  Dust all over the desk. Dust up my nose. Dust ground into my fingers.  Conte and pastels are best left in the box for little ones.  The drawing, however, did hit the more upbeat mark I was after. 

OOOOOOOOOOOOH!, pastels, 6" x 8", 30 Minutes More or Less Daily Drawing Series



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Letting Out The Wild Beast

Work in progress, oil,  going for the wild coloring of flash photography. 

While this beast is a bit more wild than when I started, he's still not wild enough.  This occurred to me last week after staring at the three headed portrait for months as it hung on the studio wall.  At first I thought it needed more blue and before I knew it I wanted more pure color everywhere and let  the likenesses be whatever; Timidness was not a trait of the Fauves. This realization brought  back my original idea:  a colorful, loose  painting of three grotesque heads.  I used my three sons as references of course.  This is the type of thing you want to keep in the family.

My energy and enthusiasm returned after my lung cancer scare and side effect  bum leg from being in an .awkward op pose for hours, I am slowly getting back into the studio with a slow painting process:  the Venetian technique.  The pace of it, is just right for now.  I am doing a portrait of my friend's husband who passed away a couple of months ago.  He was a lively fellow who played a mean guitar and taught others to play as well.  Music was his life.  This is the reference I'm using. The photograph was shot by his wife. It stands on it's own as a beautiful piece of work.  The guitar takes the picture to another level, more worldly.  I like the serious, professional look on this man's face.  It's the look all of us have when deep in concentration at the easel.  The Venetian approach suits the subject.

Then there's the thirty minute daily drawing challenge.  I had let it slide longer than I should, but I was in a funk.  Not anymore, these drawings were done in 30 minute sessions.  Of course, both of them were not finished in that time span.  I think it's clear which ones were a dash off and which one was not.  My challenge, my rules--and they bend depending on interest and what's up.

Nan, Beach People Series; 30 minute daily drawing, graphite, 8" x 6"

Sour Puss, Beach People Series; 30 minutes daily drawing, graphite 8" x 6"

Selfie in progress using Conte,  30 minute daily drawing that will get more time. I'm looking for upbeat.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Give The Girl A Hand!

  Munchkin, Graphite, 6" x 8"

Thirty minute drawings can go a week or more when life butts in. I got around to giving her a couple as soon as I cleared my board of an art project of a different nature.

Now for something of substance in paint.