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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Depp, Burroughs and Holbein, A Full Week



Why?  His finely chiseled features, which make this struggling painter's life so much easier. I decided to use the Line/Mass Start again.  I am still in the drawing/correction phase.  Posting his image is a way of stepping way back to see what still needs attention--his right eye.  His hair style also invites an interesting background of vigorous brushstrokes. Elsewhere in the studio: more charts. I'm taking a close look at whites and blacks and experimenting with how best to use my palette.  Reads silly, but
mixing up enough paint in the number of values that will be required for a particular painting is serious business.


Burrough's rendering of this glorious white, organza gown blew me away.
His painting rivaled Sargent's satins.  My photo copy is blurry because I snatched
a tiny copy from an advertisement for the Michigan Art Competition Exhibit
from the website. (The background looks just black here, but the brush strokes form a chevron design).
Physicians practice medicine. Attorneys practice the law. We painters practice painting. Each painting hones skills, increases knowledge and takes us a step closer to mastery.  Painting is an everyday thing, a discipline, an instrument of expression that must be played regularly to maintain and increase virtuosity. In that respect, each work is a "sketch," preparation for the masterpiece around the corner.  Our masterpieces, the art in our work, will be decided by others. Masterpieces are not our concern. Practice, practice, practice is how we get to The National Gallery. 

I rejoined the Art Association. I have laid the ground work for studying with Master Painter, Todd Burroughs. He won my respect and high esteem at The Michigan Artists Exhibition with his entry White Fountain. He insists upon color charts and Yellow Ochre is "The" yellow on his three color limited palette--and he uses black!  We hit it off immediately when A lovely artist/teacher/exhibit fellow exhibit reject introduced us at the exhibit. There is a rich life after Richard Schmid--and something to be learned on the wayfrom Holbein's skin tones and line drawings.

Hans Holbein, The Younger, painted his canvases to be
used for portraits, pink. You can see the pink in this
detail from his portrait of Simon George. I love the ear
and the use of line.

Copying Holbein's line studies has got me back
into contour drawing, but it was hard shaking off
the desire to shade in the masses. After doing
the top head, I added HB Berols to my pencil box,
which had had only 6Bs and graphite sticks.

Two infrared reflectogram details from two Holbein paintings.  Obviously he and/or his apprentices did full monochromatic
paintings before going into color. 



  1. Hmmm ... you may be seeing this comment twice, but
    If I were to paint an actor's portrait, I would choose him as well - such a fascinating and beautifully-sculpted face.

  2. You painted him SO beautifully, Linda. I love the purples in his face....and of course, his awesome expression...

    1. It's not over yet. This is just the line block-in. The mass is coming up. :-))

  3. Love your new profile picture. Great post. Johnny Depp will be fun, I think. I enjoy your drawings too. Congratulations on signing up for the class. Can't wait to see what you do. :)

    1. It's not a class. It's one on one to start whenever he's settled in his new studio. He's moving to another township, and I wanted to finish my Schmid studies. Todd is quite different than Schmid. His work is exacting. It seemed that what I pick up from Schmid and what Todd has to offer will combine to make a "well rounded" long-time-coming education in painting. I did rejoin the art association, in spite of my reservations, because it's a showcase opportunity as well as a social opportunity with peers. But no more classes for me. Workshops, yes. Open studio sessions, yes. One on one, yes. What I liked about our encounter was that in just a few words, I recognized art theories we held in common. I think his limited palette color chart was the winner--well, that and his two paintings in the exhibit.

      Thanks. I thought I should bring my profile up to date. Seeing what five years has done, I think I should have dug up one from ten years ago.
      :-)). And Depp does have strong facial features plus attitude. I do love the challenge of unconventional facial expressions in portraiture. Yes, this one was for the cameras, but the eyes and coloration made me take his head to the easel. Just another head on my wall this year.

  4. Oh hang on. I have some catching up to do!