Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Humbling Experience

Little Heads  Practice - Best Friends, Session 3


Session Three with little heads- Best Friends produced a close likeness of the kid on the left. Finally. But she sure was a humbling experience, but one I had to have. I know little about mixing skin tones with any speed.
It wasn't until I added Cadmium Red medium and Alizarine to the palette that I came closer. I didn't bother with the kid on the right. I got close enough to her yesterday.  It's time to move on.

Little Heads Practice - Best Friends, Session 2
I discovered what was wrong with the kid on the left when I transfered the photo I took this morning after the session and downloaded it on the laptop.  It really is amazing how the translation clears your vision.

Little Heads Practice - Best Friends, Session 1
Here'a how I left the girls yesterday when I started into color, but couldn't carry it any further. Ellis and I had theater tickets--a date. Thank God!

The kid on the right reminded me of my Aunt Naiomi.  When she came to visit, she shared my room. When she came to bed, she scared the twelve year old me to death.  She had pitch black dyed hair,all frizzed out framing her face and would cream her face with Noxima for her "beauty sleep."  (After a month of that, I accidently squirted her with the hose while she was sun bathing. She called me a little brat and went back to New York the next day. My dad and I were thrilled).

These young girls fascinate me.  The angle of the kid on the right's head was one tough thing to get just like that. Her coloration was difficult too. She was all pinks--including her jersey.  It wasn't until I figure the hell with that jersey, use Cadminum red light.  She clicked.

I don't know what kept driving me on with this?  It must be some sort of pride--or a self destructive act of self humiliation? But that's the last of my little canvases--on to bigger is better.

I also learned with this painting I do not like Windsor Newton oils  The colors are okay, but the tubes are made of some sort of iron? It is incredibly difficult to get the paint out of the large studio size.  I ordered a paint squeezer. I do not like wasting paint--particularly Titanium White.  

16 comments:


  1. Dear Linda sometimes I almost feel guilty about how much I enjoy painting, improvise, change all with a few touches ... the water is a companion less demanding than oil ... the watercolor is a companion moody, but less demanding than acrylic paint ... So I hope your action painting come back soon a joy!

    Too bad mood is not good for painting. But your beautiful girls are taking shape!
    I know the way you deal with your art and so I know that here will come out of.... another painting outstanding!

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    1. Thanks Rita. My mood is very into painting or why would I aggravate myself so? I'm also
      not looking for an outstanding painting. I'm looking to increase my skills with oils and alla prima portraiture. These little practice heads are disposables.

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  2. You do not seek the painting "outstanding"...is the painting itself ...then comes(outstanding) to you!!!

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  3. I do love your palette of colors Linda, but portraits are so demanding. You need to concentrate all the time and I mean you can't just paint without thinking for a while. I find it extenuating, that's why I practically don't do portraits anymore. I guess I'm getting lazy...or too old. Happy painting and a good weekend to you.

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    1. I think I was attracted to portraiture because it's demanding and calculating JUST LIKE THE SPACIAL DESIGN I DID ALL THOSE YEARS. I am a thinker unfortunately. That's why landscapes or florals are a good release for me in between portrait studies. I don't know about the color scheme. It wasn't thought out; it was try this/try that intuition, but thanks Helen. Keep on painting.

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  4. ah, I feel a kinship with you LW! I too will also keep going even though I don't like something (something important...! like the size of the canvas). We are stubborn gluttons for punishment, you and I. You are always tackling something so challenging. Double portraits! i yi yi! But you did learn things here for sure....and we got to hear about you spraying the Noxema-ed aunt with a hose too. So funny!

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    1. An exercise isn't worthwhile if you don't get what you were suppose to get from doing it. So I do tend to keep on with it till I know where exactly I went wrong. A glutton yes. Nice to have company. I think there's quite a few of us who have the same perfectionist affliction. :-))

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  5. Exciting to see the learning process.

    About the paint squeezer do-hickie: it is my favorite painting accessory. I even use it on little tubes, to get out the last bits.

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    1. It looks like a very handy tool. I had to exert all my strength to get a 1/4 inch dab out of the studio size Titanium. It was get a tube squeezer, of buy smaller tubes. White's too important on the palette to get the small tubes.

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  6. A nice result Linda the left exudes something more like the other but can also in the child are hugs Danielle

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    1. Thanks Danielle. I'm not finished yet of course. Some little heads demands more work than other little heads. Has to do with angles and such.

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  7. OMG - Love the Noxema story - that made me laugh out loud! Your struggles with portraiture are all too familiar - all I can say is that each brushstroke, each color choice is a learning experience - and one day it will all click! Happy painting, Linda - its a both a struggle and a joy and I know neither one of us will ever give up!

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    1. A month is a long time to share your room with a kabuki dancer who goes to bed in full make up. Trouble was she wasn't all that gorgeous in the morning.

      Portrait painting at this point is a struggle of calculations. That will pass the more little heads I do. It's all in paying your dues for this late starter. Funny thing happened yesterday. I ran into the little girls playing in front of my house. Carli, the girl on the left, looked more like how I painted her than the reference photo I am using. I was thrilled and thoroughly convinced that a live sitting must be part of the process. Photographs aren't enough.

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  8. This post about your aunt made me chuckle!! What a visual !!!
    This painting is amazing, Linda....So painterly...I'm struggling to finish a small portrait in oils and I'm so impressed with anyone who works with oils or acrylics! I'm working blind not knowing what colors to mix for the skin!! How sad is that!! LOL....

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    1. That's how I felt EVEN THOUGH I had bought Utrecht's Portrait Oil set. I figured if the set said Portrait I'd be half way there. Not so. "Painterly" must mean you fool around a lot with the paint till the color look about right, apply it, see that it's too light, and fool around some more till its too dark. It's then you realize just how big a smidgen of Naples yellow to add to get it 'just right.' "Painterly" is a lot of fooling around.

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