|Michael, charcoal, 9 x 12. Close enough.|
I LOVE RICHARD SCHMID! He put into succinct words things I knew, but didn't know I knew. By page ten, his book, Alla Prima, instantly became my bible. I'm thinking I should have bought two copies; this one is going to get man-handled. (If you buy it, do go for the paperback copy. It handles well. hardcovers never stay open to the right page).
With regards to my painting of my three guys, his advice to first KNOW what you are painting and what you want from it. I never thought about that before. I thought, "Gee I'll paint my three sons." I thought how I wanted them to look: not like the unknown kids I did. That painting was a copy of a photograph. I didn't want to copy a photograph.
My vision of the painting back then was likenesses, but not really. I wanted to make a painting sort of like one I saw in the movie Wall Street. It was three ghoulish heads, limited colors, on a dirty gray ground over the couch in Bud Fox's decadently decorated apartment. It was anything but traditional. Now I'm not sure that I can actually do ghoulish to my boys; they are my boys after all, but Schmid's words made me recall what I was thinking then and why the photograph I was using really wasn't all that important.
Now months later, the painting has gone wrong--or as Schmid say's I've gone wrong.
According to Schmid: Only two things can go wrong in a painting:
"1) Painting something that is not there in a subject; 2) Not painting something essential that is there."
"Those two errors can only occur within one or more of the visible elements: Color, Values, Drawing, or Edges."
My Guys went wrong when I went into color/values before getting a solid drawing.
|I darkened out the background, darkened their hair. And started drawing into their features using dark, light and one midtone. (Sorry for the glare, the canvas was wet). I didn't touch Steve very much yet--but he won't escape my brush.|
The painting I began redrawing yesterday, I attacked again today. I immediately darkened the background and got rid of the fussiness in their hair. I simplified. I contemplated a monochromatic approach to the skin tones. Mine were all over the place. I decided a limited palette of light, dark and a middle skin tones would do.
By page fourteen, this man had me back on track. I'm so glad I signed up for Vianna's Newsletter. If I hadn't, I would never have met him. This has really been a great summer for me.