Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Seated Nude Con'd

Happy New Year Everyone! 

I went into the studio today and putzed around. Hey at least I'm off my butt! I thought I'd just continue painting on the seated nude painting that I had started. I didn't want to start any new projects until I got my gears going a little more smoothly.

Above shot is where we left off. That was shot with my phone so it's not the best quality and it's darker than it actually is. Anyway, I think I mentioned that it was way too tight for my liking, which is a reflection of my lack of confidence due to lack of practice.  

So, the first thing I did was to put fresh tape around the canvas. Clean edges gives me a clearer context in which to make decisions about my brushstrokes. Then I oiled in, meaning I brushed on a coat of medium (Liquin) over the whole thing and gently wiped it off with a rag. This brings back the values and lustre of the painting at its wet state. Thin, dark areas are especially affected by drying (dries much lighter and duller), so it's necessary to bring it back to the intended value by oiling in. 

I also did a quick glaze with Liquin + Transparent Oxide Red + Ivory Black to get the process going. The glaze darkens and adds color (dark brown) to the applied area. I only used a tiny bit of pigment, so the difference is subtle. But it visually activates dead rendered areas (her skin, basically) by introducing new variations in value, color, and brush marks.

And then I started to apply lighter, more intense blue to the sofa. Not that I wanted a really blue sofa, but I did want it lighter since it was just getting lost into the background. The high chroma doesn't matter too much since I knew I was going to put a lot more paint into that area. If a little bit of high chroma blue peeks through in the end, that'd be a bonus, but I'm not painting with a sequential strategy here. I'm just playing around, really.

I also pretty much repainted the entire figure. I like to get a variety of edges by working wet into wet, and in order to that, I needed the figure to be wet. You can't fake a true wet into wet edge, nor would I want to. 

Then I started to break up the shapes and started integrating figure and ground. Tentatively at first, then bolder as I got into it. I'm not worried about losing the drawing, because if I really got into trouble, I could always scrape / wipe off the paint and reveal the earlier, dry stage. I didn't need to do that here, but knowing that I could have allowed me to take chances with my strokes.

…and now I continue to play with edges and mark making. Lost and found edges are fun to do - What I'm really trying to do find a balance between predictable lost edges, and unexpected ones. As long as I only lose edges at predictable places, it won't ever be abstract enough. On the other hand, if I lost edges randomly, I'll lose too much of the representational structure and it'll look… well, random. That is to say, no skill was involved. And I don't want that. I don't want it to look like a monkey could have done it with bowls of paint and his fingers. Drawing is still important to me.

That's as far as I got today. I'm neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. I haven't reached the point where I know how I want it to look in the end. It's still very much exploratory. I'll come back to it in a few days and show you what happens next. I'm as much a spectator as you are in this one!

Here's wishing you an artful 2014!!


  1. Great post Terry! Love seeing your process! Have a great 2014.

  2. Happy New Year Terry! Taking a good painting, and pushing it to the next level, that's what we should all be doing this entire year.

  3. Thanks Eden~ Thanks Judy~ Happy New Year! May you log more canvas mileage in 2014 than ever!