|George Washington, First Commander of the First Continental|
Army, a pencil study of CW Peale's drawing, 5 x 7"
George wasn't as homely as I thought he was. We always see that one portrait where his face is looking jowly, his hair--or wig--is triangular shaped and he looks like he's asking the artist when is this sitting over? Charles Wilson Peale drew him as a young, nice looking guy and gave me a picture to copy that I didn't mind spending an afternoon with.
|Peale's drawing, my reference photo|
Adams appointed Washington Commander of the First Continental Army, poor guy. He may have been a top gun, but his 9000 troops were untrained volunteers--farmers-- more knowledgeable about planting beans than the ways of war. When 20,000 British landed in Manhattan and started firing at them, they had a tendency to run away much to Washington's frustration. It wasn't till the winter in Valley Forge that the colonial forces came together as a a disciplined army in spite of the horrible weather. Payment for their service and bravery had a lot to do with them shaping up and standing up to the enemy. Not to mention
the drafting of Rules of Behavior becoming a military man and Disciplinary actions when those rules were broken.
Charles Wilson Peale painted all the big wigs of that time and something more interesting and quite contemporary. A century before Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending the Staircase, Peale painted and constructed this interesting combination piece of trompe l'oeil, actual door casing with an actual a bottom step into the viewing space--or inviting the viewer to climb the stair with the artist . This painting delighted me.
|Peale's Painting of artist ascending the staircase.|
|Peale projects the painting into the space by framing it with|
door casing and adding an actual step. Brilliant!
|I didn't dress for the occasion.|
My drawing of the first George W is small, a thumbnail if it wasn't as developed as it is. I did a real thumbnail
devoid of detail, for an idea I had while sitting and icing by the fire. After setting up my photographic equipment just so. I shot a self portrait of these icing/reading days with the thought it might make a good painting. Thumbnails are great for analyzing and laying out more complicated compositions. They tell you what's important and what isn't. And more importantly, the relationship of values.
|Fireside Morning, a thumbnail pencil study 4 x 5"|