I’m leading off today with a new version of a painting that I posted here back in September. This was called the Ogunquit Roofs, and I painted it from a photograph taken while on a plein air outing. Later I added a few more details–more wires–but I was still not entirely happy with the painting. When I’m not happy with a painting, I keep it near my easel. Every time I have to move it around, I reconsider whether I am happy with it. After a while, I either try to fix it, or I decide to sand it down and cover it with another painting. When the latter occurs, it gets relegated to a select pile of losers. This is one I really wanted to save. My problem was that I could not decide what to change about it. I knew what made me unhappy–it was that flat roof in the foreground. Here is what I was looking at:
So I finally gave myself a metaphorical dope slap and said to myself, “It doesn’t matter that the roof was gray. If I think it needs to be a warmer color, I should just paint it whatever color I want it to be.” As a result of this severe talking to, the roof got warmer, all the “whites” got warmer, the reds got lighter and warmer, and maybe, just maybe, this painting will make the leap out of my studio to my gallery.
My portrait of Isis, posted a few weeks ago, is also still in limbo. The shadow on her rump is not quite right. But I still have not decided what to do about it. Meanwhile, my time was consumed by a few corrections of values to the coat worn by my Zorn copy, and the beginnings of our last project in portraits class.
Cameron has not yet “scored” the fidelity of my copy, so I had the opportunity to correct some colors and values, trying to get closer to ninety percent. This photograph reveals differences that I had not seen before. Discouraging. The most important one is . . . no, I won’t tell. Cameron reads this blog, sometimes before class, so I would like to see if he zeroes in the same flaw or finds a different one. Or maybe it isn’t so bad–maybe it’s just the angle of the photograph. Ora pro nobis.
Here is what I started on for the final project, for which we have live models for two sessions–tonight being the final session:
The canvas is quite large for me–20 x 24 I think. Monday I did nothing the whole session except draw in the head and figure. I’m usually more productive. I think I am feeling intimidated by the size of the canvas.
Perhaps influenced by the size of my portrait project, I also went big with my drawings at the Saturday Life Group. Often I will tear the 18×24 paper in half, but I left it intact for the two “long poses” below.
The paper is black, which forced me to draw with my colored “charcoal”, which is very like chalk. Not like pastels, this charcoal comes is very fat sticks, very soft– gets all over your hands before you even touch the paper with it. And it doesn’t erase too well either. I “erase” my mistakes by covering them with my black charcoal. You can just make out what appears to be a shadow behind the seated figure–that is where I “erased”. The technique is similar to painting, where you remove by painting over. I kinda like that.
That was our last life drawing session for a while. The theory is that everyone becomes too busy with the holidays to meet for life drawing. Bah, humbug!
As a result of no SLG, I will be painting and gallery sitting at the MAA Gallery for the whole day next Saturday, and would welcome visitors. The address is 1528 Elm Street, Manchester. We have paintings large and small and prints and cards for sale–gifts galore.