Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pictures from the end-of-the-semester group critique/pizza party.

Although we didn't have many members who participated (probably because of the late schedule), those who painted consistently almost every week produced some quality paintings.

Three guest models, Kim Northrip, Stu Rosenbloom, and Jaime O'Connor participated in the critique. Susan Walter couldn't join us; she had to be a soccer mom (literally), that evening.

We started with Tony's 8 paintings. He joined the club this semester and caught up quickly, producing some excellent paintings.

Jacob's turn to talk about his paintings.

John complimenting paintings by Jacob.
("Dude, those are some of your best paintings.")

We had some serious critics.

Kim made a funny comment about John's painting of Jaime, saying it showed her "wild-n'-leathery side." Maybe she knows something about Jaime that we don't.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Susan, 18"x14" oil on linen
Collection of Mrs. Susan Walter

Susan teaches marketing and business classes at the Academy. She came in to pose for the club for the second time on her day off. We appreciate that.

From the beginning, I decided to paint a profile, just because I haven't painted one for some time. Though I positioned myself for a profile view, a slight turn of her head from her torso added a feeling of depth and dimension.

Setting up the pose, she decided to tie her hair up, which isn't the typical appearance we are used to. I don't think I’d ever seen her with her hair up.

Susan has a rugged, clear-cut underlying structure of her head and features. I reminded myself throughout to be careful not to make the painting appear masculine.

I prepared the canvas tone ahead of the session with a random pattern and colors of cerulean, yellow ocher, and transparent oxide red, thinking I would make some interesting compositional pattern in the background. But it turned out to be too busy and distracting, so I decided to just paint over it with a simple dark blue-green background.
Oh, well.

The brilliant turquoise color of her sweater was a challenge to get. I painted her necklace in a similar color from memory after the session was over.

Kim, 14"x11", oil on linen
Collection of Ms. Kim Northrip

Kim teaches various art history classes and communication classes.

When Kim came to the classroom to pose, I pulled out a bag of hats that I use as props for my class. We had her try on number of different hats just for the fun of it; fez, cowboy hat, biker hat, beret, and even a construction worker's yellow hard hat ("Kim the builder?"). Kim seemed to like the beret for its artistic look. So beret it was. I thought it worked well with her black sweater to frame her fair skin tone.

Once the black beret was chosen, I changed the black drapery in the background to a lighter blue background.
The new background provided a gentle contrast to the black of the beret and sweater without competing with the stronger contrast by her white turtle neck.

Jaime, 20"x16" oil on linen
Collection of Ms. Jaime O'Connor

Jaime is chairperson of the humanities and sciences department at the Academy, in charge of the general education classes in the curriculum.

For her second painting session, Jaime brought with her a fine blue scarf she bought on her trip to England. She said it had a certain sentimental value for her. She said she was going with a "gypsy" look. Marcie said Jaime looked as if she was about to tell us our future. Now only if we had a crystal ball.

The scarf had an interesting decoration that ran along above her forehead. I wanted to paint it on the scarf but I ran out of time. I could have just suggested a decoration from memory but I decided not to.

Before Jaime arrived in the classroom, I was going to use a small canvas of 14"x11". But when I saw her don the scarf and let the long ends rest in front of her shoulders, I decided to use a larger canvas to accommodate the flow of the scarf.

Unlike with painting of Stu, I carried the drawing longer in this painting to establish the clear framework before I started working with colors. I find it nice to mix up different approaches at times.

I am not sure whether Jaime's eyes are as intensely blue as I painted them; I couldn't see them quite well. Regardless, I borrowed some blue from her scarf to exaggerate the intensity of her left eye and tie it in with the scarf.

It was fun to paint her earring with a sparkling highlight, though it seems that earrings and bracelets can be such a cliché in many paintings of women.

Stu, 16"x12" oil on linen
Collection of Mr. Stu Rosenbloom

Stu is the director of admissions at the Academy, working hard to recruit talented and ambitious art students.

As he settled down in the chair to pose, Stu asked us whether we'd like him to remove his tie. I said that since we see him with his tie on all the time at school, he should keep it on.

I liked the color contrast between his ruddy complexion and his blue shirt, which threw an interesting reflected light under his chin and jaw. I think the way he held his head expresses an official presence he represents for the Academy, though I didn't get to finish his necktie.