Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Finished drawing, a prud'hon and some studies

During this week I have completed a couple of large drawings, done some more studies for a painting, and did a life painting.

This drawing is again in charcoal and measures 18 x 24 inches. The female figure is a life drawing. This is a two day pose, and represents about 8 hours of work. This week, I worked on the rendering and shading of the figure. Overall, I like it. When I first came back to it I realized a few things looked weird, for example I had made the neck way too thin. After I fixed the mistakes I started rendering.

My goal in this drawing was to render as controlled as I could to get the form as realistic as I could. I have the drawing books done by students at the Repin Academy in Russia, that I admire and want to be able to replicate the quality of their work. I think I am headed in the right direction to achieve my goal.

There was two areas of feedback from my instructor. The first was I need to check my transitions more carefully. I had made some transitions too hard. The other bit piece of advice was to vary my line and strokes when drawing. Everything was looking to similar which makes the drawing look more static. I agree with this. This leads me to the problem of trying to drawing the human form precisely yet at the same time developing enough of an expressive element to the piece.

The next drawing is another Prud'hon copy. It is also in charcoal and measures 18 x 24 inches, and took about 25 to 30 hours to do. I like doing these because they an exercise in detective work. I attempt to figure out exactly how the artist did what he did. Each time I do this exercise, I learn something new. This time, I not only attempted to render it to match the original in accuracy, I was attempting to capture the feel of it.Prud'hon hatched line along the surface as he rendered, I try to emulate that hatching to build the values and render the form with a similar feel.

These next ones are larger more detailed studies for the painting I am working on. I did two value studies and one color. The fist value study is a small one, I didn't like it so I decided to do a larger one, rough 9 X 15 inches. The study helped me to further refine the focal point and value pattern.

The color study was a disaster. I muddied up pretty quickly. The feedback on it was the color choices were interesting, but hard to tell what I was trying to do. I had changed my mind in my color decisions and didn't stick to a three color pattern. Next time I will. I think, I am going to look at the artist Euan Uglo's work to help me here.

The feedback I got from the instructor this week was not as much about the details of my work, rather he said I need to work on defining the direction I want to go with my painting. I had given him my artist statement to review and he said I wrote a good statement on painting in general but did not really give him anything that told him why I paint and more specifically paint the figure. I don't think that I was that general in my statement, but I do see his point. I think that this may stem from me trying to put too much into it.

I have been trying to really evaluate what I am interested in doing and clearly define it. I am stripping it down to the minimums of my interests and building from there. I think that I am interested in the figure structurally and compositionally. This is my base, for what I start my work with. From the the emotional and psychological will come from that. I am interested in perception, but I don't think I want to evolve into themes beyond a structural, formal, physical concept. Anything to far beyond this might be me trying to inject too much into my work at this point. The perception of the physical form is what I am interested in. Now how to translate that into my work.

This last painting is the one I did from the class, 16 x 20 inches. It is a life painting done in about two hours. Here I tried to find an interesting way to place the figure in the composition. I exaggerated the tilt of the figure, and attempted to play with the color a bit.


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