Friday, February 20, 2009

My Mistake: the aftermath and a little structure added in

This week was both a good week and a bad one. Good in that I was able to spend plenty of time in the studio working on my stuff. Bad because of the painting I did turned out to be troubled. This was especially disappointing as I had begun doing studies to help me avoid mistakes.

Here is what I learned from that whole mess.

One, work out all the problems in the studies before doing the final painting. I had let some things (like how to resolve the feet) slide, figuring I'd get to that later. Oops, when later came I was already working on the final painting and ran into problems deciding what to do (like placing the feet in the right part of the composition without distorting the figure to much)

The second lesson is when I work out something in the studies I need to stick with that. I decided to change the color when I began working on it. I did a really quick color study, but didn't work it out very far. And that was the big disaster. I spend several hours chasing the color around until I came up with a very purple painting. Nothing wrong with purple for those of you who like purple, but that was not my intent.

With all that mess going on, I stopped what I was doing to refocus.

I decided to copy a Euan Uglow painting for practice. I chose him because I like the way he approaches painting the figure and... and I needed someone who knew how to handle color. My adviser suggested I work using a three color design. I looked through a book of his paintings and found a couple of paintings with a very clear three color design. I chose the one similar in composition as mine.

I liked the exercise, I like looking at other art work and trying to work out how they painted it. It is a very hard thing to do. I decided to work out the drawing as quickly as I can, without giving too much up on the structure. That way I can focus on figuring out how he got to his color.

After doing that, I was feeling a bit better about painting again, but I was not ready to work on my painting again. Instead, I did another study trying to incorporate what I have just learned from Uglow. I chose to do a cool side shadow, using green tones, and warm light side in the oranges, my middle tones were in the purples. I it was a little muddy, but it has given me some direction to go.

The rest of my time was spent drawing. For the figure studio class the assignment is another copy of a Rembrandt painting. This time I chose a portrait, because it had been awhile since I have done one. The structure is done, next week I'll start on the rendering.

The in-class drawing was a struggle as well, I just couldn't figure out my measurements. It took awhile to get them down. I found that drawing little vectors to key points helped me figure out if those key points were accurately placed. Once I got the proportions right, I focused on anatomy. The process I learned is to put in the shadow shapes to construct the form, but I wanted to try something different. Instead I drew all the muscles and bone shapes as best as I could, then dropped the shadows in based on how they should fall across the anatomy. It seems to have worked, we will see next week.


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