Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sargent Study - Final

A follow up to this post.
In keeping with Sargent's method of painting, this was done Alla Prima. It's oil on 12x16" linen canvas. The biggest challenge while painting this was trying to make each brushstroke driven by draughtsmanship. This was difficult because I'm not a master draughtsman yet. But I tried to sum up everything I knew and could observe from Sargent's portrait in simple brushstrokes, and then not fuss over them. My natural tendancy is always to lay something down and then go over it again. I tried to step back often to evaluate where the next brushstroke needed to go, and basically built up the painting in large, impasto patches of value/colour until the canvas was covered. This was probably the biggest learning experience I've had as a painter!
Click here for a high-res photo.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Practicing Edges

This painting is basically a study in edges. I'm fascinated by what great painters (like Richard Schmid) can do with them. One type of edge that I've just recently learned the strengths of is the lost edge. I tried to use lost edges in areas of this painting that I never would have before (like the eye). I definitely learned a thing or two from painting this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

African Model This Time

I love painting dark skintones. It seems like the temperatures get reversed. Even under a warm light, the lights are cool, and shadows stay warm. I was late for this session, so I decided to skip the linear underdrawing phase that I usually do, which seemed to make the painting better actually. Although I wish I had painted a little more thick.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Funny Clown!

Well, not exactly funny. More like the horror variety of clown. Luckily for me, the horrific element is happening just off-frame, so I didn't have to paint it :)
Oh, this is for DrawerGeeks!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

...I Never Just Sketch Anymore

* * The Following Are Very Personal Opinions (I'm really not a purist) * *
I've been working a lot from life lately. And as amazingly helpful as that is, I think it can be dangerous if you don't sketch out of your head every now and then. Why? Well, when working from life, nature tells you what things look like, and it's your job to draw it as accurately as possible (which alone entails a lifetime of learning). With sketches like this, you're not even afforded the luxury of being told what things look like (or even what's in the frame!) It is a ruthless test of what you've ever learned about art. And that's scary. Every brushstroke can reveal weaknesses you didn't know you had...and I found a lot of them while sketching this. The good news is, my painting tells me where the holes in my knowledge are, and challenges me to go out and fix them. And that's why I'll be doing this stuff for a long time.
If you disagree with me (or even agree completely), I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Painting Competition - reposted

Oops - somehow I managed to delete this post! Guess I'll re-post. Sorry to those who commented and got erased!
Anyway, this is for a painting competition I'm participating in. The task is to pick a master's self portrait and do a caricatured study of it, being as accurate as possible to value, colour, and even painting technique. Naturally, I picked Sargent. It took me about 8 sketches to get to this point, which is a full value study. After this, I'll begin the final oil painting, in colour. Below my painting is Sargent's original self portrait. He's the man!