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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Honey Really Took a Beating

yesterday. Upon close scrutiny, his stance was all wrong. His weight wasn't on the leg he was resting it on. I did some redrawing and he's standing on more solid ground now--but I'm going to have to go back into the background to fix that up.

Then I noticed his right forearm is way too long and needs to be shortened up. His two elbows are in the right line with each other, but the forearm is just not right. To fix that situation, I'll have to re-examine the angle of the line between his shoulder and his elbow. It was no wonder why I had abandoned this project; I had been too cocky drawing him free hand rather than using a grid system or projector.

A lot of artists use a projector to project their subject onto the canvas so they can draw it exactly right. I never have. It certainly would make life easier, but wouldn't do anything for eye hand coordination or sharpening drawing skills. Projectors are a crutch, best left alone if you like to exercise your craft with the least amount of baggage to drag around.

The grid system, on the other hand is helpful. It involves dividing the photo that your working from into a scaled grid and then duplicating that grid, proportionately larger, onto the canvases. Then you simply draw what falls into each of the squares.
I should have used that system with Honey. But I didn't and now I'm paying the piper for my pompousness and spontaneity. Oh well..

Yesterday, I also found that I'll need a mahl stick for steadying my hand while painting his facial features. A mahl stick is a bridge you place on the canvas to rest your paint brush on to steady it as you paint the small detail work. It also helps to keep your palm from resting on the surface of the wet canvas and doing damage. For this size painting, I may have to make a bigger one than what I have.

I had a full day in the studio sizing up what Honey needed and making corrections. I also put back the swimming pool. In the photo I've been using, he's standing next to the pool. I took it out months ago; it was awkwardly placed. Not anymore.I put it where the color was needed. "Honey loves pools, I'm sure he'd be pleased", I thought closing up shop and heading upstairs for the cocktail hour

A glass of wine in hand, I scribbled my view of the woods outside my window. The woods are easy. The trees fall where they may and no one would bother to question whether they fell to the right or the left in a drawing. The woods afford greater artist license than portraits.

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