Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cover To Cover.

From this study, the bridge of his nose needs to be widened, his eyes aren't that close together.
His nose is more aquiline too. And a harder line needs to be added under his chin. But I had had it. 
My $50.00 eight foot runner from Overstock.com
No more arguments with Honey over art tracks.

Last carpet installation: a runner I bought online from Overstock.com for fifty bucks, that runs between my studio and the bathroom. I am now covered. I can leave my studio shoes on if I have to go powder my nose. I was getting exhausted changing shoes every time I left my art space.The inexpensive, color coordinated, busy patterned runner will not show charcoal or sienna or dioxinine or anything else I may be wearing on the bottom of my shoes walking out of the room.

A great day for closing the door on rugs and for lunching with friends. A fair study day with Michael.

That expression of his is hard to map. I figured charcoal was the medium of the day. I did two  one hour studies. The last one was closest to the truth. Tonight, I'm going to resort to the grid system. Dissatisfied with the painted version of yesterday, I went back into it, just drawing. Why did I use blue? I had a pile of it.

Redrawing Michael
From the charcoals, I learned his smirk distorts his face. One side of his mouth is up. The other down. So while his eyes, nose and hairline are angled down on the right, his chin is very slightly tilted in an opposing angle. His mouth however, is straight on with his earlobe. Lucky thing this is a painting only this mother had to love and doesn't really have to finish. But I will. I'm stubborn that way. Plus it really is an excellent exercise.

 On my doorstep after lunch, I found the book to end all books on oil painting, said Vianna Szabo, my local hero and nationally recognized pastel painter. I can't wait to get my teeth into it. The grid system study can wait. I'd rather soak up all of Richard Schmid's knowledge on Alla Prima painting. From the price of this paperback copy, bought directly from the artist for a  much lower price than Amazon, there's pure gold in these pages.

This is Vianna Szabo's most precious book; number one on her best art book list.
 I had to have it. Her work is phenomenal. I want my work to be phenomenal too.  What's
that about a cold day in hell?



18 comments:

  1. ALLA PRIMA.I paint alla prima
    very often...watercolor is very suitable for this way of work.
    Without design, without ... thinking.
    At the end these are some of my best work.
    I will never get them ...a second time!
    But now I'm curious about your book!
    Shall I ever LIVE without it!?
    Keep your readers informed of your discoveries,dear Linda!

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    1. Me too. It's how I was taught with oils decades ago. It's how I paint with acrylics and watercolor and charcoal. According to Schmid, (so far in my reading), alla prima means drawing/painting from life. According to Roth, alla prima means painting without any predrawing; the drawing goes on as you paint from life and/or reference photographs. I'll let you know if this guy thinks my definition is acceptable; he may be a purist? It's acceptable to me though. It's ridiculous to think that cameras are not an art tool and one must hire models or go on site to be considered alla prima painters. This is probably a hot topic for debate among artists.

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  2. Very interesting hearing about your process.

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    1. I'm glad I gave you some food for thought. I'd love to know what you thought was interesting and how it differed from your process.

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  3. Catching up on your blog, Linda, and happy to see your progress - trials, tribulations, practise - its all paying off. By the way, I think the carpet will be stained inside of one or two nanoseconds!

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    1. Maybe, maybe not. Stains only happen to things you care about. This runner was so inexpensive, it can easily be replaced when it gets unsightly. It's the carpet below I'm concerned about keeping clean.

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  4. Good for you Linda!
    Spilling paint can be an issue.
    When I was very little I spilled some paint on a rug. I will never forget my mother's reaction when I timidly told her. She said, "Michael you are more important than the rug! Don't worry about it." I was very lucky to have her as a mom! We both happily cleaned the spill and I tried a little harder not to make spills in the future. But I knew if I did it would be okay.
    Keep on painting and inspiring others Linda.
    Your art buddy,
    Michael

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    1. Spilling paint is an accident waiting to happen in a studio space, but accidently spilled paint isn't my concern. I see that and mop it up trying to salvage whatever I can. It's the stuff I can't see--the dropped piece of charcoal that I crushed stepping back to observe my progress, the splatter of acrylics that didn't hit the canvas, they hit the floor (and walls). That's the stuff that walks out on the bottom of my shoes. That's the stuff I want to keep off the carpeting that runs throughout the lower level. So I got the runner. Woven into a dense pattern, it has all my colors in the room as well as the colors I use most on my palette. If I do walk them out, the rug will camouflage the event.

      My mom wasn't as understanding as yours. Neither is Honey. They say we all marry our moms. As my mom liked a clean place, my husband likes a clean place--and raised by my mom, I like clean too. My messy place is restricted to the studio or the lawn :-)

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  5. Your commitment is amazing, I would have given up long ago. As I said before, I could learn things from you. I don't if this is true for portraits, but some things doesn't always look good if one stay true to a photograph, unless one is a super realistic painter, and one have to sometime trust what one know.

    I think you are on the right track... happy painting

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    1. Being that this portrait is my son, I can take liberties and get him close enough, but if he were your son, you would want the likeness on the money. Portraiture is an art genre, but it's also a business. Clients refuse to pay if the kid doesn't look exactly like the photograph and/or sketch originally agreed upon. Having business in mind further down the road,a reasonable likeness has to be achieved. Thus my hard work.

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  6. I admire your stubborn-ness, but I call it hard-working, stay with it, get it right resolution. So I look forward to the finished Michael, but I am so enjoying the journey!

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    1. The genre demands it, as you well know. I look forward to a finished Michael as well--but I do intend to punch him in the arm the next time I see him for screwing up his face and making me work so hard:-)

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  7. Richard Schmid is a God among those who paint outdoors. Everyone I know has that book...it is a very wise purchase.
    I always love seeing your charcoal drawings. Things may be slightly "off", as you wrote, but Schmid would certainly approve that you keep returning to make corrections.

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    1. I'm only on page eight and I'm loving him. I want to highlight nearly everything he says. He does know painting! This one is the closest so far, but needs tweaking. Translating the drawing to this venue is extremely helpful--shows the shortcomings immediately. Love blogging works in progress or using them as wallpaper. Most helpful. --Maybe I should have bought two of these books. There's a possibility that this book may get a lot of wear:-)

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  8. I am in a similar situation with a painting where I am only now noticing that some of the features are off now that its nearly complete. Your commitment is inspiring to me to get it fixed and keep going ;) looking forward to seeing more!

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    1. I think it depends on how far off the features are whether you should go back in. I had a perfectly respectable likeness the post before this, anybody who knows Michael would know it was him. But my own need for understanding how he physically screwed up his face to give me that sardonic, condescending mean mouth grin interested me; my anatomical curiosity was peaked. Also the flash lighting is killing me. I could kick myself for not knowing then that I might want to paint these guys later, which is a joke. Five years ago, portraiture never entered my mind. I was using my mom's eye, not the painterly one. Good luck to you. I'd say happy painting, but I don't know if painting is all that happy very often:-)

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  9. Wow. I think you are right. People who pay for a portrait are likely to be quite demanding.

    I checked on the book on Amazon. Not cheap, indeed.

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  10. Just checked out Schmid's book on his website. I can see why people love this. Going to add this to my to-read list.

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