Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brooke At Rest, Redux

Brooke at Rest, oil on linen


 Staring at the images of the earlier stages of this painting, (see last post) I can easily see that in the process of building the painting I lost the gesture somehow. Mainly, I lost the slouch, the relaxed curve of her back. The more I looked at it, the more I felt I needed to have that slouch back. I decided well, there's nothing to lose here because I don't like what I have, as is.




It seemed like an easy fix, but upon trying to figure out what needed to happen, I realized that to move the spine means moving everything else too. The head had to be moved to the left and lowered. In the course of doing so, I ditched the red scarf thingy. I thought in the previous version, the red fabric made too big a statement. I left a little bit of it, like a hair band or a ribbon of some sort, mainly for color accent but I wanted a more generalized head - I opted for a tight bun that I see dancers always wear. Of course, it meant that I had to repaint the head entirely, so that's what I did.


Curving the back outward meant that the front had to go inward, else the torso would be too thick. I repainted the torso.

 Moving the torso didn't affect the positions of her legs because her hips stayed where they were, but I was bothered by her left (the one closest to us) leg having too much of a "sausage effect".  I decided to bring her other foot closer to the body, so the left knee would overlap the right heel, creating a continuous shape.  Doing so created an isolated triangle framed by her leg masses, but given the choice between that and a big sausage, I thought it was a better choice. I did lose the rough, transparent and textural quality that the original leg had,  (because I had to paint it opaque to cover it up) but that couldn't be helped.


Moving the leg meant I had to repaint her hand, too. I'm still working on the gesture of it. It's a tricky thing, to say the least.


The background had to be redone also, because there was considerable shaping from the outside.


So pretty much, I ended up painting the whole thing over! Looking at it now, I think I can work on it some more. It's interesting to see how the painting keeps changing on me. It's got a life of its own, that's for sure~





2 comments:

  1. Thanks for putting the original and newer version side by side; because of that, your comments were
    very clear. I really appreciate you explaining your logic process, especially when you point out what you gain, plus what you lose.
    I am always flogging myself for having to make a correction, because then I have lost that first fresh brushstroke or transparency. It is some comfort that highly skilled painters need sometimes to do that too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Judy, I'm glad you can relate!

    ReplyDelete