Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Anthony,14"x11" oil on linen

Usually, I don't stay with drawing this long when I paintムI do not want to separate the drawing stage and the painting stage too much. Rather, as soon as the general proportion of the head is established and the placement of the features are determined, I move on to lay down shapes of color, including the background. Sometimes, though, I like to indulge myself with the drawing aspect of the painting just a bit longer (I enjoyed the building of this drawing). But at some point I had to decide whether I should go further with "tightening up" this tonal drawing or move on to color. I should have finished this painting as more of a transparent tonal painting rather than a full-fledged painting. It turned out that the next stage of the painting didn't develop to my satisfaction. Looking back, it had to do with the fact that I let myself be distracted by an event that was happening during the sessionムthere was a school holiday event going on at the time involving gallery reception, food, etc.

I took this picture just before I moved on to lay down colors. Later, I scraped the final painting off the canvas for another use, another day.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A few pictures of the students (and an instructor) hard at painting during last week's session.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jayce, 16"x12", oil on board

A few days before this week's painting session, I primed a Masonite board with gesso. Onto the second layer of gesso, I created a moderate texture by dragging the brush on the wet surface. After the board was completely dry, I toned it with many random brush strokes using a mixture of mostly transparent oxide red and viridian. I did this to make the background of the final painting suggest the distinctive appearance of Jayce's wildly unkempt hair.
From the beginning, I decided that I would not finish his whole head. Instead, I wanted the color and brushwork surrounding his head to look as if they are a part of him. I started the painting by carefully working on his eyes and made my way down to his nose, mouth and so on. Generally, I would paint the head by first blocking in the larger shapes and then moving on to the smaller details, but sometimes I just want to paint differently. Besides, my main impression of Jayce, particularly from my vantage point, was that of his eyes staring out of the surrounding dark of his hair.