Sunday, October 2, 2016

Slow Start, Slow Process, Perfect Winter Project


     


Everything about this realistic painting method requires patience, from proportioning the photograph to an appropriate size canvas, to painting the underpainting to glazing over it with color, a step I haven't taken yet.  I will with these two women Waiting At The Gate.


I took the photo a year ago or so?  Though I couldn't hear what they were talking about, their conversation was highly animated.  Looked like gossip.  The dark haired woman seemed to know the dirt--and it must have been one juicy story she was telling,  for the woman sitting next to her was aghast!  I took the shot with my iPad trying to look like I was reading

        


Then played with the subject off and on just for fun.


    




    



Fun turned serious, as I realized this subject was curious enough and challenging enough to hold my interest while I further explored the slow, but mostly calming, Venetian Painting Method--going beyond the grisaille stage into color glazes. I did a couple of graphite head studies and will probably do a few more paint studies to work out what counts, what doesn't in the composition.


    






     


 My continued interest in these women over past months revealed something more I want from my portraits:  I want them to pull the viewer in.  I want them to arouse curiosity, imagination--mine--and the viewer's so that they are more than a visual record of a person's existence.  

WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT?  My first thought was that the mouthy brunette was recounting a dreadful argument she had with her husband and that's why she walked out, bought a ticket to Taos and was going to spend the rest of her life painting.  Others might think something else?












 
 





 
  
  


8 comments:

  1. I think you should work in a courtroom sketching !!!!! I love the expression on these ladies!!! You caught it perfectly!!!! (:

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    1. I'm not that fast. Relying on reference photographs, I 've lost the benefits of those 15 minute charcoal sketches I did so many years ago in life drawing classes. People's expressions change in a flash. The camera can catch them faster than I can with a pencil. Thanks Hilda

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  2. Love your approach to this one, Linda. The viewer, the narrative, all part of the painting. The gritty subject is real time and not chocolate-box cosy (there's got to be a good Jewish word for it ...cutchy or something :) ). Looking forward to this one developing.

    I'm trying real-life sketching with charcoal for the first time ... you influenced me with your dynamic charcoal drawings.

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    1. I love charcoal the most! The vine kind, not the pencils. The pencils are too black, too hard, too harsh. I think those should only be used for finish details, edge work etc. I haven't done charcoal in a couple of years, but since I've been working with graphite pencils, I've wondered why not? Charcoal is so much freer, gestural. Capture the motion of the subject first. This Venetian method is quite the opposite, but It fascinates me; it insists upon the artist having a relaxed approach and discourages hurrying to finish. Practiced together, the two processes provide a nice balance.

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  3. I love this scene! I like your interpretation of what they were talking about. Look at the size of their handbags (?), they can store lots of art supplies. :)

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    1. I could 't imagine what they had in those gigantic bags they clutched to their chest! It looked like they had packed everything they own.

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  4. You captured a very candid moment with your camera and did a great job with that color sketch - I think it evokes the same action and energy of the photo in raw and dynamic brushwork.

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    1. I love watching people going about their business and these two definitely got my interest. The little oil was done very quickly, as yet not something I'm skilled at, but it did tell me something about the painting challenges I'll be facing. As I'm working on the large initial drawing, there's going to be quite a few problems to solve. I have no doubt gestural brushwork will be involved.

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