Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Kid's Teeth Are Just Fine


Things seem to be working  okay with this one. I'll know for sure
when  get to that mouth.



Work still in progress.
At great expense to his father, Zac's teeth are picture perfect. Just not in this painting in progress. It was time to quit, Zac's tricky mouth is definitely something to be painted in the morning while still fresh. Unfortunately, tomorrow morning I'm out of here early. I've got appointments, then the art supply store for the paint I thought I had, but didn't and the dollar store for Totally Awesome. I didn't button my smock and low and behold my white tee with beige palm trees ran into a loaded brush of Transparent Red Oxide. Zac mouth will wait.

 For my thirty minute warm up this morning, I copied a charcoal drawing of Sargent's. Didn't do a bad job, didn't do a great job. Actually, it was the first copy I've ever made of a master's work. Learned a few things and reminded myself that there is painting/drawing in the museum galleries every Monday if I cared to put that kind of equipment together and drive downtown. It's a thought. Had I not taken the time to warm up, maybe Zac's mouth would have been operative?


Copying Sargent for warm up. Unfortunately none of the master's
talent rubbed off. But I did learn he used white pastel with his
charcoal. I didn't read it. I just knew it. For the range of grays
to be that full he had to go very dark then lighten up brighter than
a knead eraser would allow.

 It was a good day. Both my guys are looking like themselves; I'd recognize them anywhere. It's important to remember that a likeness in portraiture is not an exact duplication of the subject.

 According to Miriam Webster's Dictionary it is:
like·ness/ˈlīknis/ Noun: The fact or quality of being alike; resemblance: "her likeness to him was astonishing". The semblance, guise, or outward appearance of: "humans are described as being made in God's likeness". Synonyms: resemblance - similarity - semblance - similitude - image
That lets portrait painters off the  hook in my opinion. I wonder if it would satisfy the client? 

27 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Kyla. I feel good about my work today.

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  2. I think this double portrait will be absolutely beautiful. I can 'see' them and am sure once completed you really going to be proud! The rest of us too; for one thing I feel like I'm painting with you everyday, sharing the woes and woops :)
    Warm regards.

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    1. No woes today. No woes yesterday either. My mistakes became accomplishments last Thursday, August 16th, 2012.

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  3. These are looking more than Okay to me already. Portraits are always so hard and you are tackling two at once. Courageous beautiful work.

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    1. Portraits are challenging, but not hard--fascinating. I love how the lights and darks go together like a jigsaw puzzle to create a likeness.

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  4. You rock Linda!
    Your wonderful art work shows that you are both talented and hard working!
    Bravo for you!
    (I love your art and your blog entries. Both keep me coming back.)
    Take care.
    Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael, you're not so bad yourself.

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  5. Linda, I really like how this is coming out. Both are great "likenesses", and I am sure your "clients" will love the portrait!

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    1. Me too. I thought the definition of likeness was amusing, it actually suggested that you could get close in a rendition, but not exactly. Likeness could be a resemblance. I do think one should not dwell on likeness when painting the light and dark shapes. Likeness will come and through the shapes, not a tedious rendition of an eye, nose or mouth. I do like this new approach. It frees you up and loosens you up in a genre that could be and often is uptight.

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  6. Well done Linda these are coming along a treat... hmm likeness-a funny thing, I think a client wants something to be as close as possible, the secret is to add some life there as well which it looks like you are doing, charcoal is so good for doing that, you can add some character with it without losing the "likeness."

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    1. I think so too. Clients want duplication. They want to see the features clearly and recognize them as being their loved one. So, while a certain degree of gesture painting is acceptable, we do have to get down to painting particular eyes, noses and mouths in the business of portraiture. If you haven't seen Sharon Wright's charcoal portraits do. SHe's listed on my side bar. excellent, finished work.

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  7. Good job!! the portrair is amazing, cheers!!

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  8. Good job on the guys...the range of tones is brill....something I'm really scared of! And no .....clients for portraits, in my experience, are VERY PICKY...I had someone complain that you couldn't see the eyelashes...and it wasn't a close up!

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  9. Replies
    1. My pleasure lady.

      Yes, I've met those picky clients who count eyelashes. Back then, I was shocked at their complaint, now I'm thinking they didn't see enough of my work to know I don't draw every eyelash and I play down nostril holes.:-)

      Those charcoals you just finished deserved mentioning if not flaunting. Excellent work.

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  10. Wow, Linda. You are rocking this.

    This portrait is terrific.

    Now for the unasked for advice: about the mouth/teeth, think about where you want the focus to be. If it is not on the mouth/teeth, I would drastically downplay that area in your painting.

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    1. Unfortunately, I think the mouth explains the expression in his eyes. So I'm being very careful to match the horizontal position of his lips and chin to his Father's features and always checking the verticals with relationship to the shape of his head as described by the shading in his tossled hair. I vill do the very best I can.

      Meanwhile, I am learning this limited palette and liking it. I haven't mixed all the excess paint together to get the harmonious, pull it all together gray yet, but I will. It should be valuable to whatever comes next. I'm headed towards JD as soon as I feel comfortable with my new knowledge. --And then there's Erin the ten year old with the temptress expression on her punim.

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  11. You had a great day in my opinion. Warm-ups... perhaps something I should start with.
    You should really be here and kick my ..... =)

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    1. Warm ups are a drag. I have to drag myself down the stairs, a trip that seem unbearably long. I leave the charcoal equipment out on a counter top so I don't have to go through the agony of getting everything assembled and argue regularly with Ellis about how I don't keep the place neat. He's right, I don't. I like everything at my fingertips. I'm pretty lazy. I sit for the warm ups, even though I know I should stand, but it's early in the morning and I'm still drinking my morning coffee; I'm not ready to stand. All I have to do is pick up a piece of charcoal and I come alive; the magic begins. I set my bezel for ten minutes. I start and so does the day. I am lifted to another place. Hopefully, with time, my arty exercise will become easier.

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  12. Wow, I really like how both of your men have turned out. And personally I think you did a great job copying the master as well! Sorry 'bout your shirt, though:-/ I really appreciate this thought you shared: "It's important to remember that a likeness in portraiture is not an exact duplication of the subject."

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    1. The paint came out! I found it immediately and acted quickly with mineral spirits. Isn't that definition interesting? It doesn't say exact duplication, it says resemblance. A very key word. I liked it a lot. It lifted the stress we feel when striving for exactness when we don't have to.

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  13. You did a beautiful job on them, Linda!!! You should be very proud of yourself!

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    1. I'm not done yet. Zac needs work. His teeth are not buck. The values still need adjustment. They are not easy. They are neither dark nor light, but half tones of medium. Very difficult--a lot of mixing and trying and discarding and trying again. But I'm not going anywhere.

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