Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Head #4

Little Head #4

A little tweaking brought me closer to a likeness
With the last of my little tiny 8 x 10 canvases that are totally wrong for any portrait where the eyes, nose and mouth should look like eyes, nose and a mouth instead of a swipe at about the right spots, I moved on to Best Friends using the oil painting method I used fifty plus years ago: ultramarine blue and burnt sienna wash followed with raw umbra for blocking in the shapes. I had a hell of a time. This method is definitely for a larger format, for I vacillate between painting in and wiping out, additive and subtractive, the sculptor's way, and there's no rag small enough to do the subtraction with any accuracy. I kept thinking about Q-tips.

 On the positive side of today's sessions--note I said sessions, for it's been a long time since I did more than one--that's it for the little canvases. I'm moving on to 11 x 14. If those are still claustrophobic, I'll move up to 12 x 16  cut canvases for this self taught workshop of mine. (They do offer portraiture at the BBAA, the art association close to home. Unfortunately, my Fall dance card is filled).

Meanwhile, yesterday's JD got a little tweaking,which brought me closer to a likeness.  The large JD canvas, got some attention as well.  I seem to be on a roll--probably knowing I'm headed towards a paint time out in September.

The kid on the left, a challenge.
--Observing that kid on the left in this format, I can see that  the slight shadow that delineates the fat kid's double chin and separates the mid tone section of her face from the strong light source on the left, can't be eliminated,just shaped better; without some demarcation, her face would have no structure at all and there would be no better likeness.

The grid system and a careful pencil draw-in would make life a lot easier--too easy.


10 comments:

  1. Really fun to watch your process. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Fun to watch Helen, painful to live through. But who knew when I bought those tiny canvases, I'd choose portraiture as my late-in-life focus? Funnier still I have a package of dozen 6x6s sitting on the shelf--the "deep dish," gallery stretched. I do believe they will be a painting in the round, albeit a sculpture IF I feel I absolutely must do something with them. Finding "your voice" also means finding what notes were sung off key. :-)). Welcome to Blog World. Your plein air landscapes are lovely. I'll visit again soon.

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  2. You're right. All that is small (except for a few rare cases lucky) is ... claustrophobic for me too! I saw on the blogs that some painters work for small number of similar things at the same time ... maybe it's a way to overcome claustrophobia?
    I like to follow the thread of your art thoughts!

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    1. It just took me 4 years to find what fascinates me enough to keep me persistent . I was bound to go down some wrong paths on the way. The 6x6s were Carol Merin's fault. Her daily work so very well done made me think I should give sunny side up eggs a try. Turns out, I'd rather eat them, than paint them. :-)). Today to save the child with the baby fat. I can't leave her like that, even if these are just for practice.

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  3. I love monochrome, brilliant for tonal studies and my preference for finished work too. I find they are no help at all with the colour work! I am gobsmacked at your throwaway ideas.....'painting in the round', 'sculpture'....what a splendid idea...might pinch that! And your little heads are splendid.

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    1. Titanium--but I think Flake might be better for skin tones. It's warmer. I also have decided I do not like the large tubes of oil. Windsor and Newton makes a tube that's a bitch to squeeze. I like to buy the largest tube of white for economy--and it seems that if I do, I need one of those things that helps you squeeze out the very last dollop.

      I didn't get back down to that poor child I left in such a mess yesterday. Maybe this evening? Would you believe I was on Skype for an hour and twenty five minutes? Before that I was trying to get that pacquet I need for the hospital. No luck again today. I hate to think of that child just sitting there on the easel so deformed. It's kind of you not to mention her deformity.

      I like monochromatic too and yes, it doesn't help when you get to color. I thought I'd go into those girls with color...I also thought I'd get to the art store today to load up on some larger sized canvases and have a go at them again, but life got in the way of art. What else is new?

      Can't you just visualize a lot of colored blocks stacked in different arrangements? As soon as I wrote it, I thought I'd do it. Acrylics is the medium. --I might even want to buy more. It could be an interactive sculpture--and here am I broadcasting that brilliant idea to the rest of the world's art community!

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  5. I also love the sculpture idea. Wonderful what can come of mistakes.

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  6. great to see the process and read your thoughts. I have to agree about working small...I don't like it. I do see the value of doing small studies...just for shapes and establishing values etc! If you aren't going to really do a final work here you should abandon it in favor of a bigger size just to save yourself the aggravation!

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  7. The girls make for a very difficult pose. Yup, pencil and grid would be a good idea. :)

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