Today I had my quick studies class, so I picked up last weeks paintings. We did four portrait studies last week and to your left I posted what I thought was my best one. Having done clothed figure, still life, landscape and portrait, I think I am best at portrait quick studies right now. Though I did a landscape that I thought worked out OK. More on that later.
This was a forty five minute study. It is the best likeness of the day. Still, he is a little crooked. Notice how the nose and chin point off to another direction.
I think that I am starting to understand the point of these exercises.
At the beginning of the semester the instructor did tell us why, and I was paying attention. What he said was, of course, to learn painting efficiency. Made sense to me at the time as its an easy concept to understand. Now, I am beginning actually grasp what he meant by efficiency. I knew he never meant to teach us how to speed up the painting process. Rather, it was about unlearning some bad habits, and learning new ones, with in the context of placing limits on oneself. In this case time limits. Again, all makes sense when it is explained to you.
As with everything I am learning at this school, what I am learning here is not something that can be easily explained or transmitted verbally. It is something that has to be practiced and explored, much of it can't really be expressed verbally. Some of it can be demonstrated. All of it has to be practiced.
I am not sure how to explain what I am learning. The best I can say is that I feel I have better feel of the paint and the brush. I feel like I respond to the medium better.
Also, I consider how I am going to lay the paint down more. Not that I was not doing that before. I just do it differently now that I have a limited window of time to work. That means I have to figure out the best way to get what I want down with out having fuss with it much to repeat any actions. Simply, what is it that is necessary to paint and what is the best way to get it on the canvas.
Like I said above, its a fun class.