Sunday, February 23, 2014

In Between Brush Strokes

.DRAW.  DRAW.  DRAW.  AND THEN, DRAW SOME MORE!
 
I draw while listening to television in the evening.  There is rarely a program on that you have to see; most of them you can just listen too like in the old days of Stella Dallas and Figger McGee and Molly. While Ellis and I sit together in the evening,  I "doodle" in graphite and he works his puzzles.  A graphite 314 "Red" is equivalent to a B9 Berol turquoise, if there was one. Berol used to make them. Then General did. Now, Eagle seems to be the manufacturer?   I've been to the art store stocking up and chatting. I really like the velvety lines, how dark it will go and even at it's darkest, the marks can be lifted totally off the paper.



            ,          

AND AGAIN!  There's that sultry look I was after! A bit darker here, elongate the mouth line, adjust the eyes. It's the little details that make the difference. 



     


 
 
 
My first sketch of a subject that may make an interesting portrait.  Piggyback comes to mind as a title.
The boy looks fine to me. The girl needs work.  A closer look at the boy's hands wouldn't hurt either.
 
 
 
 
.My second sketch is an improvement on this head, but from the look in her eyes, maybe the title
should be "Carry Me"!  the phrase said in a whiney tone that has made all parents cringe.  I'll
have to work on the facial muscles around her mouth to give her the smile that says this is a Piggyback.


 
 
An unsuccessful hand/value study, but a
successful session noting relationships.
 
 
 In between laying out fresh oils on the palette, I finished A Light Dusting, an oil I started just before I left on Christmas holiday. 
 
 
A Light Dusting, oil on stretched canvas, 9 x 11
 
 
 

 






















           


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14 comments:

  1. Hi Linda,
    I actually quite like the top drawing. Yes, the boy's head is good. And you're right - hands always need work - so difficult. I prefer the girl in the top drawing as she has a sweeter appearance. The girl in the lower drawing looks like she wouldn't be caught dead giving anyone a piggy-back ride. That about sums up my critique for today :)

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    1. The head in the middle is a closer likeness. Her eyes are sultry. They are her best feature. Her eyes need a sparkle dot; her mouth needs more smile in the surrounding muscles which amounts to some darker values. This is why getting acquainted drawings are important before hitting the paint in portraiture and I'm lucky I find TV boring. You live, you practice, you learn. The top drawing I missed her likeness, but I did get the boy's. The hand drawing told me THE main relationships of the forms within the composition--her chin to points on the hands to the directional flow of her hair which holds the eye of the viewer on the canvas and keeps it moving between all the elements.
      The hands will get another pass or two with an HB and an F3; I went too dark too fast. I don't find hands scary or difficult. You just have to study them and get the shadows/volume. Patience, an objective eye and study are key. Hard work, but there's really nothing on TV to hold us back. :-))

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  2. Your landscape is wonderful, Linda but your portraits are outstanding and getting better with every painting you do. I love the expression on the girl's face in the second drawing... Excellent shading...and I love the way you drew the boy....NICE work!!!!

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    1. This landscape was fun, not too serious, just something to paint when I didn't feel like getting too involved. My nonchalance made painting go easy. I wish I was more nonchalant more often.

      I think this Piggyback composition might be interesting on a long, narrow canvas off set. But not before my guys are finished and hung!

      Thanks Hilda. You're always so positive--your upbeat comments keep this pessimistic soul upbeat too.

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  3. Much a I like and respect your drawing skills it is the use of your brush and color that excites me. You never disappoint, Linda. I LOVED seeing you are painting again.
    I too have always listened to the TV with the occasional peek to get the drift. Raised on the radio. Love books on tape.

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  4. I did take a rest, but the paint was out and there was this one sitting on the easel next to where I was mixing flesh tones and it called to me to finish it. These paintings can nag! Drawing is a lovely thing to do in the "drawing room" in the evenings, but painting is where I need to spend the hours--especially since I insist upon doing paintings of size with a medium that's better for smaller sizes--or is it? Reuben's didn't seem to think so. :-))

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  5. Dear Linda, I love the softness of recent work done with pencils ... you always have a very distinctive sign, energetic, which is imprinted in what you do. Here the sign is always energetic, but it's at same time has also a fluidity, a new magic ... the pencil now is like a brush in your hand. I love see your work in progress and hear your thoughts ....

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    1. Thanks Rita. You have a lot of energy in your paintings too. Loved your name day roses.

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  6. Never had that happen before - got a blogger error and my entire comment vanished. Erg. Let's see .. Great drawings! Love how you draw at every opportunity, and you are doing wonderful work. I agree that the girl in the second drawing looks like someone I would not want to know - something in her expression. I love the way your painting is many, many layered strokes of paint. Beautifully done. It reminds me of a Monet I saw when I was young. Up close it devolved into nothing but random-seeming strokes. Back up, and - voila - waterlillies! (Now let's see if this works).

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    1. Sorry you had trouble Dan. Blogger can be tricky sometimes. Thanks for the praise. So Piggyback the title isn't and Carry me it is. Carry me fits the girl's expression. I've worn the same expression when my kids whined to be toted around. :-)) OR SHE NEEDS MORE WORK. As for Monet, I don't think so. No need to flourish words over a little practice-with-oils painting. Seurat was the dots. These days Chuck Close is thinking pixels. The point of the painting is it was finished while I was concentrating on another one. Nonchalance can produce some good things. Dwelling on a painting can kill it.

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  7. I like your comments about nonchalance - my boldest (but not necessarily best) work often happens when my mind is elsewhere. Interestingly, lately I am no longer enjoying listening to music while I paint - a new development as I usually listened all the time as I painted. Now I am listening to lectures on physics via the Free University series. Today it was Hans Bethe. Go figure!

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    1. Physics, conversational chatter, music, whatever stops over thinking is good. When I (consciously) walk back into the studio the day after a session, I immediately can see if the day before was a good one or not. Photographing the painting as I go helps too. Flaws become immediately obvious with the translation. I still like music I can dance to when I'm painting. When I'm painting in a classroom setting all quiet and serious with the air thick with concentration, painting becomes a chore and I tend to watch the clock. :-)) Back in my sculpture classes, the instructor played Sousa's Marches. Pinching the clay and building up the figure was a blast; I worked in tempo. :-)))

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  8. Linda: I can't even listen to TV anymore. As for the sketch, who is that interesting lady?

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    1. My bonus grandchild. As for TV? Sometimes I just want some noise in the house. :-))

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