Monday, March 5, 2012
Coming To Terms
Joan Sicignano wished me well over the weekend on coming to terms with which art path to follow. And that's exactly what I did .
Portraits DRAWN IN PENCIL is where I've got skill. Portraits painted in oils is a whole other matter.
Nevertheless, this woman, with the aches and pains to remind her she's in the forth quarter, would be foolish to think she could ever reach the kind of skill she would insist upon at this late date. But I'm going to pursue it anyway, demanding as it is, (probably why I never carried my drawing that far). I've liked the challenge these last weeks. I've liked feeling energized. So get set to see a lot of me. I am my most consenting model.
Ben Martin's very informative, free,online course. It's very well done and brought me up to date on what's new. I also pulled out Ralph Mayer's The Artist's Handbook on Materials and Techniques, (1970 edition would you believe) and reread it for the fiftieth time. Mayer's chemistry differed with Martin's but provided necessary guidelines particularly with the use and overuse of linseed oil. OnBen Lustenhouwer's videos I noted and immediately saw the value in a great portraiture accessory for my easel: a piece of masonite, or pressboard, trimmed out with some frame moulding and fitted with a tricky piece of hardware that attaches a mahl stick that will swivel and turn into play whenever firmly drawn defining lines are needed and then swivels away when they are not. A beginner with painted portraits, I duplicated that device with a long, gallery stretched and still unwrapped canvas. It worked--minus the mahl arm--it was wide enough to allow me to place the canvas in progress, abreast with the reference drawing--important for matching flesh tones, the portrait painter's nemesis.
Happy, stress free painting everyone. May all your flesh tones be accurate. This week, the beautiful children with no names will be my focus.