Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day Two Venetian Technique: Grids and Contour Drawing

You have to look closely to see the grid lines and the contour outline of the back of my head.

After discussing the various photos I took last week, Todd and I agreed upon the one you see on the upper left corner of the 36 x 24 inch  linen canvas.  We both thought another photo could be used to fill in the unsightly view out the window.  I do have a few ideas--like a cloud formation--if I'm going to call it Daydreamer--I'll sleep on it.

Reference photo chosen, the first step was to draw in a grid over the photo corolated to the grid drawn in my lightest hand on the canvas. and assign a letter to each row and a number to each column for easy referral--sort of like making an Excel chart.  The scale on the reference photo is 1/2" =  2 " on the canvas. The little that can be seen here took the three hours of class time. After a couple of errors, I started subdividing some squares to eliminate errors and insure drawing accuracy. My 3H mechanical lead, a souvenir from my years of mechanical drawing, served me well; a 2H would have been too soft. I kept a sharp point and a light hand to insure coverage.  The knead eraser did a fine job on the linen surface. I made sure to keep it clean.

My homework is to finish the contour and paint in the lines so they have time to dry by next week--says Todd.  Says me, the contour has to be perfect before I get out my number 1 round sable. The  contour drawing is the foundation; it should be strong. 

I'm starting to worry about losing my loose touch. I have to work that painting technique in after I get this painting launched.  It will be launched when I get to the grisaille.  This is a great painting technique for an A personality--which I am on some things--like designing someone's house.  For twenty five years, painting was a relief from drafting, an opportunity to be a B. There's nothing B about the Venetian Technique 

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18 comments:

  1. Already ... I think it's going to be a great work, Linda!

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    1. At this stage, it still has a chance. As I was carrying the canvas and my yardstick back to the car, a dad picking up his kid, said what did you do in school today. I said nothing much and showed him. He didn't know what to say after that. LOL

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    2. And I can just see that happening! :)

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  2. Spannend dit ik ben erg benieuwd naar de volgende ontwikkelingen lieve groetjes Daniëlle

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    1. Danielle said: Exciting this, I am really curious about the following developments dear greetings Danielle

      I said: Yes and no Danielle. Yes, when i think of learning how to handle the paint with finesse. No, when I think of all the hours, days and weeks ahead. My pursuit of painting is boiling down to a pursuit of patience, clean work habits and thorough planning no matter the technique.

      In Dutch: Ja en nee Danielle. Ja, als ik denk aan het leren hoe je de verf met finesse te behandelen. Nee, als ik denk aan al de uren, dagen en weken van te voren. Mijn streven van de schilderkunst wordt inkoken tot een achtervolging van geduld, schoon werkgewoonten en gedegen planning, ongeacht de techniek.

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  3. A beautiful picture with the strong contrast that emphasize the technique that you will put into action. I do not know if you keep even the exact background of the picture,that is amazing. I notice the interlocking of light and dark and the play of lines behind you ... a promise of masterpiece.

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    1. That background might be played down on my first run with this, but the view out the window definitely needs to be replaced. Rain gutters are not dreamy. I'm going to hear Todd's take on the matter. Drapery is/was often used by the Venetians to make a background more interesting. Then they often sat their models against a dark drape. If I was the sort who loved to traipse about in winter weather, I might consider another class to finish this project, but I am not. If I can get as far as adding values to the local color, I could finish it on my own. I don't think I will. That's why I'm considering doing a smaller painting as soon as I get this one launched. If anything, I'll learn when I fail why the format has to be so grand. With small brushes on a small format, you can feather and blend values and edges.

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    2. The window, that is only a long rectangle can be replaced with another, the intersection of the moldings between light and dark is evocative. Motion of those volumes is dynamic and remember to me the passage in time and space in a classic way because it seems like columns.

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  4. LOL! I just read your comment above about the fella who didn't know what to say when you showed him your work. I laughed. I can just imagine his face. Well, of course this is going to be just brilliant. It is a really great pose. You look so (really) lost in thought. I love paintings like that--the viewer gets to decide what you were thinking about. I'm glad you aren't going to use Ellis reading his paper. It is a cool picture--but this one is better. I do wonder what it says about you that you are so drawn to direct painting...but instead, you choose this class! You are an enigma! hahahahaha! Seriously, it's cool that you are doing something that isn't exactly "you". Maybe this is some sort of hair shirt thing. hahahhahaahaha. Come on, you have to laugh at that. :) Can't wait to see what is next!

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    1. Another line slowly drawn. I painted my first portrait in oils with this indirect method two years ago when my son brought me that commission to paint a couple of children. Since it was a commission and the kids had to look like kids, indirect was the way to go grid and all. That was the first time i used oils since I don't remember I was a kid myself. I gave up oils the minute acrylics came out. The turp made me ill. But a portrait has to be in oils, so I bought oils for the kids. That painting was important for me. I loved doing it. I loved doing portraits and here I am seeing how I like to do them best--direct or indirect? I suspect both. This will be my first ever Grisaille however. Indirect, Venetian style has it's place as does gestural. This exercise will teach me how to handle the paint properly. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but I was still working the paint like I did acrylics--or at least trying to. It annoyed me. It was time I took a formal class. Besides that gestural workshop, this is my first ever. I suspect I might have the desire to let this evolve into a business. People are talking ( no typo here) an interest. This method will blow them away.

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  5. Bonjour,

    Le choix est judicieux et déjà l'entreprise est sur les bonnes rails !
    Je suis certaine que vous allez faire vibrer cette peinture avec votre talent, votre ressenti, votre personnalité. Une peinture qui sera VOUS !

    ♡ Gros bisous ♡

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    1. Martine said: Hello, The choice is wise and already the company is on the right track! I'm sure you'll make this painting vibrate with your talent, your feelings, your personality. A painting that is YOU!

      Then I said: Literally. LOL. using a grid is tedious work and has more to do with spacing planning than it does with painting. it's right up my designing alley. This start is great for people who haven't developed their drawing skills, but it also cuts out the problems we encounter when drawing by eye/hand. The Venetian painters used it, so it's in keeping with the subject of the class. I am anxious to get to the paint though. Hopefully by the weekend.

      Littéralement. LOL. en utilisant une grille est un travail fastidieux et a plus à voir avec la planification d'espacement qu'elle ne le fait avec la peinture. c'est juste mon allée conception. Ce début est idéal pour les gens qui n'ont pas développé leurs compétences en dessin, mais il réduit également les problèmes que nous rencontrons lors de l'élaboration par l'oeil / main. Les peintres vénitiens ont utilisé, il est donc en accord avec le sujet de la classe. Je suis impatient de la peinture bien. Espérons que le week-end.

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  6. I agree with Celeste - I laughed at the man's non-comment.
    I can see that this is going to be a long process and at first i thought you were kidding when you said maybe you wouldn't get to finish the painting in the time allotted . Now I can see - not.
    You have dug in your heels and are determined to follow along and I see even glimmers of optimism for the future in the last part of your reply to Celeste. I am behind you every step you want to take. I admire you for trying something so hugely different, and appreciate you taking us along for the ride.
    PS - I still worry about the light pattern I mentioned before. On the the small format above it looks like your little finger goes into your mouth. (tangent!)
    I know it is the light hitting your bottom lip and color should handle it.

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    1. I think You're right, but lipstick should do it. Actually, the photograph shown here was lightened up considerably so I could read more of the details. If I ever get to the color, I'll use the original as my reference.

      This is not my first time using a grid. I did it for my very first oil portrait--only I skipped painting the contour lines and doing a grisaille. It came out great--at least the client was more than pleased. From that painting on, I recognized my fascination with portraiture and started doing a lot of heads free hand in the gestural manner. This class takes me a step back, but hopefully also a step ahead with the emphases being placed on handling the paint (scumbling, which I never did) and nailing down the values via the monochrome underpainting. Hopefully I'll come away more skilled in the medium than I was going in. Before that first oil portrait, I did landscapes in acryics, never a portrait.

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  7. Just a thought. When I read this post and looked at the picture, "Daydreamer" was too obvious to me. I think everyone would immediately see that image, even without a name. However, if the viewer reads a title such as "Closure," he or she has a great deal to ponder. Just a thought.

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    1. Love your thoughts! I am awful with titles. Closure it is. Thanks JJ!

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  8. It looks tedious to me already, but I do envy you, this course is exactly what I need to learn to use the paint 'properly'. I might just do it along with you! Love your picture choice, a challenge definitely, but it will be a superb addition to your decor.

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    1. Better to screw up my portrait than someone else's! It is tedious, but I knew that going in. Handling the paint is my objective. If this picture comes out fine, fine. If not, it will anyway. I will get what I paid for: comprehension of the paint. I do love working in oils much more than acrylics--and portraiture would have been the genre I would have pursued had I decided way back then to build a career in Fine Art. I'm where I should be and feeling right at home. Love it! --Besides, while this is a portrait of me--as you and I know--who's to say it isn't saleable as a woman staring out the window thinking about some mysterious thing--or wishing she was somewhere else? I'm not painting wall décor deary; I'm painting romance, dreams. ;-))

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