Friday, November 19, 2010
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!
Posted by Terry Miura at 10:04 PM