Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Figure Painting Wrap Up

I have been planning on doing this a couple of days ago, but I have been sick and have not had a chance to go to the studio to photograph the final work in the class and bring home my notes.

The criticism and feedback I received can be broken down into two or areas, skill development and direction to take my art.

One of the areas I still am working on is the drawing of the painting. The instructor feels that I still need to work on proportion and value. I can see that I struggle with this in my paintings. I do not seem to have the same issues in my drawing. So I see this as a struggle with understanding the medium, rather than understanding the principles I need to apply. He suggests that I do gesture drawings everyday to train my hand, that way I won't have to rely so heavily on measuring.

An area I struggle with is modeling the form, he say that sometimes I model it correctly and but other times I over simplify it In the painting above he pointed out where I had correctly turned the form, then he showed me where I was off. This is something I continually struggle with. I am going to work on copying some drawings from a book of Russian drawings to help me resolve this. I think I might even paint studies of them after I draw them to try to translate what I learned into paint.

The other area we talked about was the direction I want to go this my figurative art. I told him I was interested in breaking away from limited color and emphasize that more in my work. He thinks that I should move any from glazing and work more directly. (I have been using the more classical technique of glazing in the color later in the painting. I don't do a grisaille, but I start using three colors to model the forms. I then add the color using various glazes.)

My instructor tells me that it is a value versus color issue. Both are important but the artist can not emphasize both. Focusing on one means I won't be able to focus on the other as much. I will be to decide at what levels I want to focus on each and what is important for my message.

I like his idea about what value is and what color is. Value is the logical aspect of painting, it can be broken down into rules and principles, where as color is the expressive side of painting based more on person emotion and experience.

The two paintings shown here are the final homework assignment and the final in class assignment. I am some what pleased with the homework,( girl leaning and holding her hair back) The figure is rather stiff, and has a somewhat unfinished feel. Here I think more preparation before the final painting would help me tremendously. I think I also became to wrapped up in the smaller forms I didn't pay attention to the larger ones.

I am not as pleased with the in class painting. I know I could have done much better. This is a case where it would have been better just to start over rather than trying to fix it. I spent most of my time correcting problems and making new ones.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Figure Studio Wrap Up

I have finished all four of the figure studio drawings. I felt that this was a difficult assignment to do as there was much to get done in a very short amount of time.

The assignment was to do two drawings each copying a Pruh'don figure drawing, one male reference and one female. One drawing was to simply draw the underlying structure of the figure. The other was to do a full rendering of the drawing. The purpose of this is to help us see how the artist saw and understood the figure to improve how I see and understand the figure. This works, as I have dramatically improved in my technical abilities over the last few months.

Though I am somewhat satisfied with how the drawings turned out, over all it is not my best work. I felt I had to rush through it and by the end I was tired and didn't put my best effort in. This refers to the last of the four drawings mostly. I spent about half the time I would usually spend on a drawing and it looks simplified because of it. Still, I believe this process has helped me learn a great deal so I happy with this as a learning exercise.

The instructor met with me at the end of semester to discuss my progress and the work in my class. Overall he was very pleased with what I have been doing in the class so we didn't discuss any particular work to critique. Instead we discussed my painting and how I could improve in that arena. Mostly that I need to spend more time on the preparation of my paintings before I start the actual painting. I need to start doing studies of my work and build up to a fully rendered study and use that to paint from when I do the final painting. This will eliminate most of the problems in the work before I start it.

Below are a few of the final in class drawings. As you can I never really finish one in class.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Paintings done and in progress

This a busy time of year for me. The final weeks of the semester are fast approaching. This means I have plenty to do. What I am showing here are a couple of the in progress paintings and a few expressive painting class paintings.

This first one is the final homework assignment in figure painting class. It is larger than I have worked on paintings this semester. I had decided to keep my paintings smaller this semester because of the volume of work I had expected at the beginning of the semester. I wanted to keep my workload manageable. However my instructor requested that I work larger so here it is. It is about 36 inches tall. I noticed that the size of it isn't really affecting my working pace. I did notice that I have to refine the detail of focal point much more just because it is larger.

I haven't worked on the legs much. This is because I changed the position of the legs from my reference photographs and decided to make them up. I changed the position because the way they were did not work for what I am trying to convey. I thought I would make them up rather then re-shoot new reference because I thought it would be a good challenge for me. I am now going to re-shoot reference. To get the level of precision I want,I am not ready to construct from nothing.

Over to the right you will see the final painting done in class. Like the one above it is in progress (I have worked on it quite a bit since this photograph) It is a five day painting. I am struggling with this one and I am not sure why. There are some days were I can't seem to do what I know I know how to do. I have had proportion issues. I had to redraw the shoulders and arm a couple of times before I was satisfied with it. The next concern is creating the atmosphere. I am trying to create an exaggerated sense of space. In order to do this I am exaggerating the values, I am exaggerating them in weird ways (not intentionally). I have lowered the overall value of the painting. The color is something I want to work on to. It leans way to yellow right now.

These next painting are from my expressive painting class. The one to your right is one of two I did last Monday. This last Monday was the last day to paint in class. I decided that I wouldn't worry to much on the last day. So I decided to play more with the painting. In this one I decided to include an environment and leave that environment somewhat mysterious. I am pleased with this one.

This next one is a painting I did in that same class. I started it because I got to a point where I liked my first on an decided to stop. I just did a figure study using the method I used in the first one, that is abstract the planes of the figure enough to break up the shapes but keep it tight enough that I am still painting a figure. I was focusing on playing around with the color. I still struggle with that red/green palette I paint in and I thought it would be good to play a little here. I am pleased with this one too. I like the figure in this one better than the one above.

This last one is the painting done two weeks ago in that class. It is the only clothed figure painting I have done in this class. It was a challenge to figure out what to do to make an interesting painting. I decided to make the face and hand the focal point of the painting and let the rest dissolve into paint as it moved away from that.
I think it is successful in that. The color was tricky and frankly I didn't know what to do about it. The models were wearing gray shirts with blue denim pants. This is what I came up with, even though I was attempting to be more expressive with the color. I basically switched the gray to green.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Figure Studio final homework assignments

I am currently working on the third of the four drawings due in the final assignment of my figure studio class. The assignment is to copy two Prud'hon drawings, one male and one female. Each drawing is copied twice, once as a structure drawing and once as a fully rendered drawing.

It is important to note that this is not a copy in the sense of a tracing or anything like that. What we do here is more akin to drawing a model sitting in front of us. We take what we see and reinterpret that into useful information to make another drawing.

This is the first time I have attempted to do the same drawing twice, one pretty much right after the other. After doing the structure drawing and starting on the second drawing I was not excited about doing the same thing over again right after doing it. I really didn't want to do it again. The image of the drawing I am copying is on a 8 by 11 inch sheet of paper and the details can be hard to measure out. I did come up with a solution that made the process much easier. I used my structure drawing I just did to draw the structure of my second drawing. This made things easier because they both were the same size. I set them up right next to each and measured distances between reference points on the first and then drew it on the second. (I am told this process is called sight sizing)

The rendering is the much easier part of the process. this time I did struggle with it because the reproduction of the drawing I was working on is not that great, the value range wass mashed together. I made my drawing to light and could tell that I did once I placed against others in the class last Thursday.

I am now doing the second structure drawing of the woman and it is going well.

I will post images soon.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Update on the work

I haven't said much recently about what I have been doing. This last week I was visiting family for the thanksgiving holiday and I didn't write anything about what I have been doing. That means I have two weeks of work to talk about.

The first one is the drawing I did before the break. It is a back view again. This is the second one I have done in this class. I was very excited when the instructor set up the pose. I like doing them because they are challenging and make for good drawings. The back is challenging for me because the landmarks I have learned to use to establish reference points are on the front of the figure. Examples of this would be facial features, the pit of the neck, and the naval. Since I don't see those on a back view I have to establish new reference points and estimate where the ones I like to reference are.

Right now I am working on two things in my drawing. I am still working on getting the structure correct. I am slow when it comes to doing this and always feel a little rushed by the time constraint (the class is only 6 hours long) I have been trying to identify the planes I see in the form and I also want to identify the anatomy the body as well. Doing the back is good for both of these, as I am not as familiar with the back. Things are are fairly simplified and there are a couple of errors, such as the area near the PSIS. Still I am satisfied with the technique I am developing here.

When it comes to my drawing I am aiming to do something at the quality of the Russian school drawings I see in the books at school. For me I have to develop each plane slowly and working large planes to small planes is the only way I can do it. )I watch some people do do everything at once and I get jealous.)

The instructor pointed out to me that I was reading the values wrong on this one. He reminded me to squint to evaluate the large value patterns, then go into the detail.

I have been working on the final in class painting in figure painting. I have resolved some of the issues I was dealing with in the last two sessions. I think I have all the proportional issues worked out. Last week the instructor pointed out to me that the head of the figure was to big and the torso looked to narrow. So, the first thing I did was check my proportions the next class. He said they looked much better after I worked on them so I moved onto new things. For the last class I decided to work on proportion and structure. So after the proportion I started on getting the planes of the form laid out correctly.

The instructor advised us to work on specific parts today and not bounce around to much. He felt working on many different areas is good in the beginning but at this stage we should be focusing in more. So I thought I would work on the head hands and feet. The only reason I chose this was because these are the areas I usually put off until the end. I thought I would challenge myself a little and do those first. (I will post an image latter)

In expressive painting I did another two figure painting. At first I was not very interested in doing the painting because the models were fully dressed and one model I have painted many times before. The instructor advised me to play with the color of the clothes and not to worry about the detail of the clothing either. He advised me to decide on the focal points and be much more loose with the rest of it. This made it much more interesting to paint. I decided the face and the hand of the figure in the back would be the focal points. The rest of that figure and the other figure would break up into more simplified planes. So far so good. I think I will work on this one some more and use this one for the final review. (I will add the image later)

The nxt week in figure studio I worked on a drawing where the model was sitting directly facing me. She had her hands interlaced in her lap. This made for a particularly difficult setup. I wanted to make sure I had my construction set up correctly. The way I have learned to do this is by drawing the torso and legs first then the arms will fall into place. If done accuractly then the arms will line up right and the hands will clasp together propperly. If done in correctly there will be problems. This time I think I had problems. I had to shorten the forearms just a hair to get the hands to come together right. This was extremely annoying to me because I knew from the begining that the hands would only work if I drew the proportions of the torso right. Somewhre I was off. It looks ok, but I know I had to shorten then arms so it bugs me. I worked on the value a bit but I really didnt get much time hear as I struggled so much with the construction and I took more time than usual to work it out. ( I will add the image later)