Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams, oil on linen

I painted this yesterday. Brooke was our model again, struck a reclining pose for us. It took a while before this painting took shape. I experimented with a very light background first, with the idea that I would lose much of the lit edge (top) of the figure into the background, thereby defining less. 

But as her hair is dark, it put too much contrast in that part of the picture. I didn't want a lot of emphasis on her head / face, because mystery and anonymity is top priority for me. (That's also the reason why I often don't paint facial features) 

I tried dark background behind the head area, and light background behind the rest of the figure but it just looked too contrived. I finally settled on a dark background, popping the contrast between her back and the darkness beyond. "Poppin' it" is something I've been avoiding lately in an effort to define less (that mystery thing again) but throwing her face in the shadow here effectively took care of the mystery aspect. I decided to overemphasize that line of her back. I mean it is a beautiful line! I used a super sharp edge there, (if I were to be more academic, that edge should be softer because it's turning away from us, and into darkness even) which I hope looks intentional.

I like this a lot.




12 comments:

  1. Interesting journey on this piece. I like what you finished with. I think its a powerful poignant piece.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The expression in this is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Kathy, Susan, and Bill! I really enjoyed painting this one. Bit of a struggle, but loved every minute of it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this painting! I really enjoyed your figure painting class a few months ago and hope to join it again soon.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks GayLynn! We miss you at the SLC. Come back soon~

    ReplyDelete
  6. I struggle with negative space a lot. I guess because I do quite a bit of life painting in open studio.
    I like how you handled your negative space here and I liked getting to read about how you reached your solution.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes Terry it does look intentional. I love that curve...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Shirley~ when I'm doing studies in an open-studio type setting, I tend to try a few different things just try them. I approach it with an attitude that it's just a study, and if I don't study here and now, when am I going to do it? Frees me up to experiment with drastic changes :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Randy~ I've been enjoying your report from the Ovanes workshop. Particularly liked the before and after shot. That was insightful:-)

    Hope to see you at a Friday session sometime soon~

    ReplyDelete