Friday, November 19, 2010

Warlord


 Today's figure session. I just had a 9 x 12 panel, so I decided to do a head study. I wasn't set up close enough to the model to do a portrait, so that wasn't my aim. Having some distance from the model does help me to subordinate the details and work with the larger forms of the head.

I started by drawing the basic form and placing the features. As you may have seen in recent posts, I don't always start this way - sometimes I just wash in a mass and start modeling the big forms by pulling the lights out. I tend to start with a drawing when I'm working larger (scale). This head is about 7 or 8 inches from top of the head to the chin.




 There's the model. See Molly, the studio mascot on the floor? She looks huge in this picture!







 Using a few different values, I blocked in the face in a manner that might be described as overlapping mosaic tiles. The paint is opaque, but not thick.





 A little modeling and starting in with the shirt. He's looking more Caucasian than the model. As I'm using the model only for structural reference, it doesn't really bother me. I like changing nuances of the features to see how it affects the look of my painted head.  In the course of a study like this, I make many changes just for kicks. Often my friends will make a comments about something they noticed in my painting and I'll just run with it. It's kinda like improv, see.







 So someone said he looked like a warlord. OK, let's go with that. How do I make him look more like a warlord? The word conjures up flavors of the Orient, so I started to manipulate the features somewhat. Sharper eyes, a mandarin collar, etc.





Of course he needs hoop ear rings. And a fu manchu! Oh! and a red Chinese dragon embroidered on his jacket! I was vaguely recalling that opium den painting by NC Wyeth.





I cleaned up some edges, lightened the background, and voila! 

The tops of the photos are a little washed out and glary, unfortunately. As usual, I just snapped the sequence shots with my iPhone. I'll be sure to take a proper shot of the finished painting once it's dry.

Another fun session!

9 comments:

  1. It takes great skill to model properly from your imagination; nice painting, and I really like your brushwork.

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  2. A Madarin, Afro/Caucasian Warlord with beaucou attitude. You are having way too much fun, TM! Hope to see you all in the merry month of Dec.

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  3. Thanks Judy! Making stuff up is what I like to do. It's an improv thang~

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  4. David, yeah, we had too much fun but missed you last week. At one point my painting started looking like Grand Moff Tarkin (and if you recognize that, you're a geek) but it morphed to a different kind of villain. Fun stuff.

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  5. I ain't no star wars geek, but I am a trivia geek, and now I know who Tarkin is. Thanks!

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  6. This is interesting, and also educational.
    I have a tendancy to tighten up with portraits. Seeing you haveing fun with it sends a powerful message.
    I'm always saying have fun, keep loose, and here you have displayed that. Thamks Terry! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  7. thanks bill! For me, I find that sometimes it's easiest to "stay loose and have fun" when I'm not inspired, for whatever reason, to invest myself emotionally into the painting. I KNOW it's going to be wiped at the end of the session, so I'm free to let loose. I didn't wipe it, but I had meant to, and that freed me up.

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