It wouldn't have hurt me to do some pencil sketches before I hit the canvas, but better late than never. I needed some guidance for adding more depth. Over the weekend, I found and used a fabulous pencil that came out of nowhere. I must have walked off with it at some workshop? Sorry to whomever, but I'm glad I did. I love Berol's silky soft #314, which is now made by General and available at Amazon by the dozen. These are the results.
I didn't get Kelly, but I did get Jon considerably thinner than he was when I took the reference photo I'm using for the painting. He has a jawline. I'd like to put the new him in place of the old him, but that's a tall order since I can't reshoot him in those conditions; he lives 3000 miles away.
Jon as he used to be. The sketch will give me more color play in his hair--and his form more depth. Flash photography flattens forms.
My middle son's right eye facing isn't quite right, but the structure of his nose is now more fully understood, his expression is closer to the truth and studying his hair will let me add more color variation and with it more depth. Battling the flattening of the flash is my battle.
My interest in portraiture began winter 2011- 2012. This overly cocky painting of My Guys was my third attempt--after the self portrait I just posted. Oils were still new to me after a forty some odd year hiatus. Figure painting was totally new--figurative drawing, yes, plenty of it--figurative painting is a whole different matter. I had a lot of nerve to attempt such a project. And who goes into a huge painting without one preliminary sketch? A silly, overly self confident woman, a jerk.
Two years later, I'm still not all that comfortable with oils, but I am (at long last) comfortable with myself, my drive, my curiosity, my tenacity and my ability to achieve a likeness. I also know when to pull back and take a good look with a great pencil. :-))
"In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer." (Albert Camus)
Today's another snow day, another paint day!
ROBERT GENN IS COMING OUT WITH SOME GREAT STUFF IN HIS NEWSLETTER. I've got them all covered except for three and four, two of the most important I think. Zeroing in on portraiture and oils became my mission last year. A hundred paintings in the storage room is a lot of paintings, given my current pace. I better step it up!
Robert Genn's Kit for becoming an Artist.
Time: Set aside a time every day. It should be at least an hour, preferably a
lot more. Include weekends and statutory holidays.
Space: Find a space that is always yours--where you can set up and work in
continuity. It need not be large, but it ought to be yours.
Series: Do a series of explorations toward tangible goals--say 100 pieces of
work in one direction or another. Then start another series.
Media: Choose a medium that intrigues you. Realize that the potential of all
media is going to be greater than at first realized. Be prepared for
Books: "How-to" and art-history books are better than ever. They are your best
teachers and friends. With books, you can grow at your own speed and in your
Desire: Know that desire is more important than any other factor. Desire comes
from process. Process reinforces desire and desire becomes love. You need love
in your kit.