Sunday, June 27, 2010
Taking a short break from the Road Series – I am not that prolific.
This one here is from a few days ago. I painted it at the figure session at the School. Attendance suffers a bit when summer starts, so there was plenty of room in the studio to set up wherever I wanted, but I ended up all the way at the edge of the room.
Why, you might ask, would I pick a "bad angle" if I had the option of setting up where I had a clear view of the face with wonderful light and shadow patterns falling across the forms?
...Or you might not. But I'll tell you anyway. First, I wasn't interested in doing a portrait treatment. I didn't want to paint an individual, I wanted to paint "everyman" (or woman as the case may be). and painting features gets in the way of that. As soon as you paint them, it becomes about the particular individual, with whom I have no personal connection except for the fact that she's the model and I'm painting her. The relationship goes no farther, so my making a painting about this person would be a shallow exercise indeed.
You've seen me do portrait stuff on this blog, sure. But I do those as painting exercises. Because it's important to be able to paint things like the human head, I do try hard to get it right, whether I'm painting features or not. I usually do the "portrait treatment" when I'm feeling unsure about my chops, to make sure I haven't forgotten how to do the basics.
Secondly, I was really interested in the clutter surrounding the model. Typically, we put detail and busy stuff near the focal area and calmer, passive areas surrounding it to support the main point of interest. I thought it might be neat to try and reverse it, a la Dean Cornwell, to surround a relatively quiet focal area with busy clutter.
My view already looked like that, so I didn't have to make up any of it. In fact, I painted all the elements just about exactly as I saw them, with the exception of the foreground yellow flowers. Those were slightly out of the picture frame and I moved them in to immerse the figure in clutter.
Incidentally, my favorite part is the white flowers in the background. I was really happy about the economy of brush in that area. I can't say the same for the figure itself, but it was still a satisfying exercise.
Posted by Terry at 7:55 AM