Saturday, September 15, 2012

Artwork IS Work

Zac is starting to make a recovery from reconstruction surgery
The cat's eyes are the cat's meow and the focus of the planned painting. 
As I left the studio this morning, Zac's right eye (facing) still hadn't been raised, but his head had been downsized and the values in his hair have been improved.  The high noon light is doing weird things to the skin tones, mixing cool with warm. Zac has overall cooler tones than Steve, yet  some of Zac's tone are intermixed with Steve's warmer ones and visa-versa.  the skin tones of both of these guys are not balanced out yet. There's a lot more work to be done.

 If you don't have a likeness, you don't have an acceptable portrait, (drawing).  If you don't have the right skin tones, (colors and values), you don't have an acceptable portrait. 

So you just keep working at it. Though I'm talking to myself and using a lot of superlatives, I'm loving every minute. Portraiture fascinates me. I get totally absorbed and very determined.  Zac's expression is what is holding me to this. I get this one down, what's so tough about a half smile Leonardo?

Not tortured enough, I chose a photograph from Taylor's FB photo collection  (perhaps taken by my son Steve) for the painting I promised her for Thanksgiving. I figure, the way I work and not being a cat person, I better get started on it. I blew up and cropped in  to what's important to me; and I decreased the exposure to get as dark as possible and still (barely) see the whites of Taylor's eyes and highlights on her nose and jaw line.  It is not Mr. Fuz Zy Pants who will keep me interested; it's Taylor's role in the composition as a secondary lead to the focal point.   I'm thinking one color, monochromatic, but first the drawing.





16 comments:

  1. You really have made a superb painting, and I know you still have areas to complete, but so far it is brilliant.

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    1. Brilliant it is not, but thank you Ann. A matter to be dealt with, it is--out of stubborn determination. I do think a lot of quicky, I-don't-care portraits are in order just to shake myself up and loosen me up with the paint. Being new to the paint, I really don't feel at home yet with regards to consistency and so forth. Only through use will that happen. And when that happens, my brush work will loosen up, which is the place I'd like to be.

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  2. Love the composition of Taylor and the cat, it will make a beautiful painting, lucky Taylor.

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    1. Your silence a roar. Yes, the composition is a good one, but will the painting be a good one? Only time will tell.

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  3. I am tuned in to see where the double portrait goes next. It is looking good. I agree with Sharon...the cat and girl portrait is going to be amazing!

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    1. Now the cat and the girl should be painted. It is not a photograph that can stand on it's own. Blowing it up increased the blurriness and the images pixelated, which would have pixelated me if the focal point wasn't a cat which is pixelated anyway.

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  4. I remember one of the most difficult portraits I did was of my sister, took for ages to getting the right likeness...keep it up! ( I know you will :-) ).

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    1. This one is wrapped up in what the distortion of his jaw line. It wasn't an easy decision not to scrap it and go back in, but I figured how else do I learn than by pushing the envelope?
      I hope you got to a place where you were satisfied with your sister's portrait?

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  5. I can imagine you talking to yourself while painting :), I do the same! I love the composition of Taylor and the cat!

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    1. I think it should be striking--at least there's no weird expressions in this one other than the cat's:-)

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  6. Your works in progresses are the most interesting of all the blogs I read. I love watching how it slowly all comes together. Looks better already!

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    1. Thank you Kyla that means a lot. After I posted throwing myself into a redraw with any color that happened to be on the brush, I wondered if I should have revealed that much of my process, my philosophy, to the public. A painting can go through some pretty ugly, oh-my-that-poor-woman-really-should-throw-in-the-towel stages, but they do happen often in painting and when they do, they can be discouraging if the artist is impatient to reach pretty. Paintings evolve. They are exercises and artists are practitioners. We are, or should be, always reaching for our best. The likeness wasn't good enough; the drawing wasn't good enough. and now I'm stuck dealing with nailing down the right values, which at this showing are not good enough--YET. But first raising his eye.

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  7. Enjoying your journey with this picture and love your bumper sticker.

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    1. I got that via e-mail. I don't do bumper stickers, but if I did, that would be one I'd choose. Painting is a journey Mick. Some journeys are longer than others:-)

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  8. I think there is two ways to do a portrait. Do a lifelike portrait with some degree or realism or do a painter interpretation of the person. If I should try today I think I would end more on the 2nd one, do it my way and hope that there is still enough likeness to be able to get the connection.

    Happy painting.

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    1. I am finding my way. I'm not comfortable enough yet with the paint to be painterly. That'll will happen eventfully. Oils are very different than the way I used acrylics.

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