Sunday, September 28, 2014

Contour Done, Washed and Drying; Phase Two, The Venetian Technique

An all inclusive contour ready for painting a Monocrome. It's still wet as I write. That accounts for
the glare of the studio lights.

Turns out I wasn't through with the contour drawing till I had everything I might possibly want later in the painting process in the drawing. It seems, you can't improvise later if there's a plane that needs breaking up according to Mr. Burroughs.

In the contour Grid Drawing stage, it's best that the start be thorough. The more details, the better is the mantra of contour. So in with the drapes, in with the abstract painting, in with the little consol table with the crystal decanter. THEN I covered the canvas with a wash using a 4" brush and rag, as evenly as I could.  I'm ready for class on Monday to begin the third phase of the process:  THE MONOCHROME.


Henry with shoes.  This painting was started using a pencil, but no grid. The drawing was done
freehand making measurements by eye.  I did use a palette limited to YO, CRM, UB and black and white.

Meanwhile Henry, a direct method painting, got a whole new pair of shoes and hair. I had been neglecting him while concentrating on the large, indirect Venetian technique

 The  Direct painting process yields solutions in minutes. The Indirect Painting Process can take months.  The Direct Method mirrors the faster-than-the speed-of-light pace of  Modern Times.  The Indirect Method mirrors life when no one heard of Superman.. In the window space of my self portrait I intend to merge the two methods.  My plan is to paint a fogged out landscape alla prima.

13 comments:

  1. Linda, I LOVE Henry! It is my favorite of all your works - so fresh, bright, alive, with a touch of mischief.
    Your contour looks good. Question: We know cameras distort perspective. What do the Venetian technique and Mr Burroughs do to reconcile that issue?

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    1. The depth of field will be up to me, by how I handle the values. That's always the case, no matter what painting process one uses. Contour drawings are flat. Values create the illusion of depth.

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  2. Love Henry!!! He oozes happiness!!!

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  3. Hi Linda! I've been following along step by step, but haven't had time to comment. So far it is all fascinating, if as you say, a bit too careful and tight but I bet it will yield great results!!

    And as for Henry, I am absolutely blown away!!

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    1. Time will tell. Thanks, Henry is a delight.

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  4. so fun to see all the phases of this painting. Looking forward to what happens next. Henry is adorable. You really caught his charm.

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    1. Fun to see, weird to do. This method of Starts, as Schmid calls them, almost guarantees a masterful painting--masterful IF the artist can handle the additional layers of paint with finesse and style. After the monochrome, which will take some time to paint and dry, the artist is supposedly FREE to add the two color layers as carefree as she wishes. I don't see that happening after weeks spent being so meticulous. I think more like Schmid, all this control might make the artist timid when it comes to the color layers? People find it hard to cross the line you know. :-))

      I keep thinking about the paintings of Alex Katz. I have no doubt he started them this way, eliminated the monochrome and painted in the contour using no modeling, just flat colors. Then his greatest painting, Swimming Pool, he spontaneously splashed in a splash in the middle of all that controlled painting. Clever move.

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  5. HENRY IS TO TREASURE, A GEM OF A PAINTING, DELIGHTFUL. I MEANT TO PAINT ALONG WITH YOU ON THE VENETIAN TECHNIQUE BUT FEAR I HAVE LEFT IT TOO LATE TO CATCH UP..............ALTHOUGH MAYBE A SMALL ONE?

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    1. Thanks. In comparison to the Venetian, Henry was a breeze. But the Venetian is good for complex, highly detailed subject matter. I would have chosen a smaller canvas if I hadn't been instructed to get nothing smaller than a 24 x 30. The hardest part so far has been finding a reference photo with a single light source and strong contrast. That's why I chose to photograph myself. This is a technique where the artist has nearly total control. That control began with how I set up the photo.

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  6. You are so smart to work on both techniques at the same time. Later you will have the ability to grab for yourself what you want to develop and toss what you don't emote for . Henry is quite marvelous, but there is also a strength to the drawing - does that make sense?
    Anyway, for me they are equal for different reasons on this post.

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    1. Yes. I think I have used both approaches in the same painting before. I recall sectioning a small area with grid lines to get the drawing of a foreshortened hand correct. Maybe it was the infants hands in my first oil portrait? The grid was an important tool when I was designing and doing a lot of perspective constructions on paper. If I had difficulty drawing something free hand, I would think nothing of pulling it out of my tool box. As for wet into wet, every day we paint like that till one more brush stroke threatens mud. t's in one sitting that these large, detail intensive paintings don't get done. Another tool in my paint box is a hair dryer--in the studio, it's a fan.

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  7. I love that little man Henry! He looks so happy and his shoes are awesome. Good luck with your painting, I saw your latest post and I can't wait to see the next step. You'll have to frame this one! :)

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