Monday, August 20, 2012

Family Values


Zac, 9 x 12 value study, oils, limited palette: burnt sienna, black and white.
one hour.

Zac's Dad, 9 x 12,  value study, oils, limited palette raw umbra, burnt umbra, white.
30 minutes.  



Ten minute warm up times two, 9 x 12, charcoal. Steve (left)) looks like Steve.
I can't seem to get it right with Zac. It might be where he's located? It might be
the nut behind the wheel? The oil study is closer to the truth, but his dropped jaw
is driving me crazy. Kids!

The Sargent painting that sent me for my charcoal pad before seven this morning.
It's called The Piano, 12 x 16, oils. Sargent played the piano or the guitar during
painting breaks. I play the piano and have played classical guitar. I don't think
having those two instruments in common is going to help me follow in his footsteps
as a painter, however. But it was nice to learn I had some things in common with
the maestro. I wonder if he could play the Sonata in G Major, by Beethoven?

Instead of spending my morning coffee on computer, I broke my usual AM pattern with Sargent--for all of five minutes. The book opened to a spectacular painting that was the epitome of thinking in values. Though it had nothing to do with portraiture, it sent me and my coffee down to the studio to do two ten minute value  warm ups. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a piece of charcoal. I had to remember to squint a lot to simplify the subject.(I have to remember to get a better wrinkle cream if I'm going to keep this up). I had to remember to check the axis. My subjects were my son and his son, thus the title of this post.

 My timing was strict. Ten minutes. Hands off. Move on. Ten minutes. Hands off. Move on back upstairs to start the laundry, make Honey his tuna fish for the week and eat breakfast. Then back down for an hour  value study with oils, palette limited to burnt umbra, black and white. (I hate black and white with oils; that's a palette for graphics). The black made burnt umbra and white too cold. For the afternoon, I went to raw umbra just because it was on the palette. I liked it better in my 30 minute sketch of Steve AFTER the laundry was put away. Full day. Easier on the legs though. I cut a carpet section for my easel area. Worked great.

 I'm relatively keeping up the workshop pace using photographs. The nice part of working with photographs is, the models don't charge, they don't move and I can make my value work easier by converting them to black and white or sepia and white.  The bad part about using photographs is the depth of field is shortened considerably. But having worked from life a lot in life, I do know to push the darks and the lights to get added dimension. 

24 comments:

  1. I close my day with the reading of your day!
    It seems to me beautiful and challenging everything you've done, Linda and very productive!
    It 's like if you had found a thread that connects everything you've done, making it effective and exciting: an artistic rebirth in the mind and hands!
    When something good happens in the life of someone who has fought against so many bad things in the recent years, I feel better!!!

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    1. Thank you Rita. It was a good day. I feel energized. I'm "learning my tools" and loving it. Life has ups and downs and will always have ups and downs, who cares as long as there's paint in the box and a canvas on the easel.

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  2. Catching up with your blog, Linda, and my mind is reeling. It seems you are a whirlwind of energy and creativity! I would suppose that all that you learned, all the new and exiting information, has fired you up for these endeavors. I knew you would love the workshop and it shows! Whatever you are doing, with all the excitement in your approach, is showing up in your work as fearlessness and exhilaration! Wow!

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    1. I am fired up Susan. The workshop was an eye-opener. Fearlessly I'm learning my oil tools. Fearlessly, I'm making mistakes. But I'm moving in the right direction. Four days was intense, but it shoved me in the right direction and I'm thrilled.

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  3. Dear Linda, I envy your energy for doing the paintings. You,ve made a lot of paintings during these days and everything good. Congratulation. Big hugs

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    1. I have a few hundred left to go, so I've stepped it up. Six hours was a bit taxing on my body, but two to three is doable along with the mundane chores we all have to put up with.
      Thank you Eva. Big hugs back. Happy painting--forget about happy--it's not all happy, there's Zac weird jaw to annoy the hell out of you.

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  4. Good for you to keep up the workshop practices! I am always amazed at what can be accomplished in 10 or 30 minutes... a great discipline... one I tend to shy away from for fear of failure, but when I do it, I am almost always somewhat satisfied and surprised. I really like the one of Steve - though I usually cling to burnt sienna as my favorite, I may just have to investigate the umbras!

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    1. You're supposed to fail. If you don't, you're not getting anywhere. Jump in the water's fine. It's just paper and paint, no neurosurgery is going on.

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  5. Hi Linda,

    Great job using all we learned at the workshop and posting it on your blog. I have had fun reading it and reliving one of the most intensive workshops I have ever taught! It took me a couple days to recuperate too! I'm so impressed you are continuing with the time constraint and focusing on the value studies. Kudos to you!
    I am at the Toledo Botanical Gardens this week putting a whole new group through their paces. No model this time just still life and the great outdoors. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting! I know you're not going any easier on this group than you did with ours. As we did, they're loving every minute--even though moaning. I'm looking forward to seeing you in October with a whole other new medium for me, which I am convinced--given your demonstration and a few remarks--will help me discern the values a bit faster. In the meantime, I will explore limited oil palettes by abusing family members. I need to feel a bit more at home with the colors, the brushes, the clean up, the layout.

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  6. Nice work...great to see your drawings/paintings...inspired by your recent workshop.

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    1. From baby steps to giant steps in a shorter period of time. That's what I'm after. I got the tools, now to use them till I no longer have to think about them.

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  7. Very nice warm up and what a good idea to do that.

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    1. It doesn't take long to loosen up your arm. A couple of ten minute drawings and you're hooked and ready--same as warming up to get your body flexible. The thing to watch out for is the desire to make it better and prolong the period. Do it. Move on. You're not looking for any masterpieces.

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  8. I am so impressed with these value studies - the workshop sounds as though it was a wonderful experience. Great that you are able to continue the good work.I love the fresh quality of the charcoal warm-up.

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    1. Charcoal is easy to pick up and easy to use and lends itself to eliminating fussy details and thinking shapes and values; it's the perfect warm up, free up drawing medium--do doubt the first medium ever used in the history of wo-man. The workshop was very incredible--but then that's what I went for an incredible leap. I think I leaped, now I'm just securing the ground I covered to make it mine.

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  9. Ah.. thought I wrote a message, but I guess I didn't.

    I really think you are doing a great work. You seem to think of all the aspect of a painting, and I can see that you are improving. I am too lazy or have too little time and just go with my instincts. Either it works or I fall on my face.

    Happy painting!

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    1. That's what I was doing, but I'm looking for a more painterly style than yours. I like gesture portraiture with just suggestions of features and yet there's a likeness. They look like they were done very quickly, yet they aren't. The artist know exactly where to put his mark, his stroke to get what he wants. That takes a lot of work learning the capacity of your brushes, the nuances of the sitter's features, The right tonal values. It's the light that reveals the identity.

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  10. Linda, it is GREAT to read how inspired you have become after the work-shop. It's actually inspiring me, and I thank you! The study of Steve is very good, but Zac ... ??? Maybe try some several other photos for reference to get a better idea of what his mouth and chin are doing.

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    1. No, I'm as stubborn as he is; I'm going to stick with him. Worked on him this morning and will continue this afternoon. I'm also exploring how I want to paint values. Before WS, I was mixing them. At the WS, I was mixing them. Yesterday and today, I'm using three tones: raw umbra, burnt umbra and the initial wash--perhaps also white? I haven't gone for white yet.

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  12. (I deleted the first comment for I've made few mistakes-sorry)
    Linda, my darling blogger, I'm going to say this and hope you don't take it the wrong way.
    Wear your wrinkles with pride, you are doing a GREAT job!!! -if you do find a good cream however, will appreciate the inside info... :)
    The paintings are great and the charcoal...? is it really a 10 min? I want to tear my drawings apart...
    Zac's Dad has such depth.. it feels like he's embossed (I hope I used the right word), full dimensional!
    Hugs.

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  13. You definitely are an inspiration to us all, Linda. These quick sketches are such a wonderful practice that I'm ashamed to say I don't do...it really helps us to see values so much better.! I love them all especially the second one of Zac's Dad! Excellent!

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  14. All great Linda, Zacs Dad, your son, Brilliant. Thanks for posting that one of sargent`s, again, brilliant. all the best Linda.
    Vic.
    P.S. Google still haven`t got it`s act together re` email postings have they?
    P.S.S I use`to play classical Guitar.

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