Friday, September 30, 2011

continuing, abandoning, and moving on; next painting

abandoned painting
i got back to the painting of marlene yesterday and pretty quickly made a mess of it. i monkeyed around with the background putting in a medicine circle of life, lifting it out, painting over, losing the likeness of the face and making the clothing not really fit in with the rest of the painting technique. so, i flipped it over and started anew. here is the first abandoned attempt:

the second came out better. there is something to be said for finishing a painting in one sitting (with appropriate breaks). i think the technique du jour is consistent. after turning the paper to more of a landscape orientation, i really didn't do anything step-wise any differently. i just paid attention to the likeness as i carefully painted the facial features and tried to make the background and clothing fit in with the rest of the painting. if i am being honest it is a different pose (photo) where she is turned a little to her *left*.  her hands came out a little, for lack of a better word, clunky, but i decided not to fuss with them as they weren't the main focus of the painting. you can be the judge if it really is better, but i am much happier with it. after all it is all about me!

"keeper of tradition"

"just walk away"

a little while ago an internet artist acquaintance suggested that the seated figure in this painting, that some may remember from a spring posting , would make a good painting in it own right:

yes, i did rename it. i decided that i agreed with him and started on just such a painting earlier this morning.  i started by deciding what to include and thought that the empty lawn chair to his left made a statement suggesting his isolation. i imagined that he was a vet. we have many veterans in this country many of whom after serving our country are homeless and isolated. i will try to portray this.

drawing and initial wash: "victor is a vet"
i chose a piece of waterford 140# hot press paper which is a new experience for me. i am not too sure how it will react and that may be a challenge. i drew the figure and his surroundings directly to the paper and started painting. he is really too far away and his features are in deep shadow so we don't see much in the way of his actual eyes other than the sockets. it would be a mistake to try to make this up so i didn't. i think it is important to make the figure belong to and sit in the scene so i put in some of the backgriound right away so that i could establish some tie-ins,. i have found that if i feather the edges of these swatches one can usually get away with partial washes and come back later to finish them. the one thing that i will say about this paper is that then paint soaks in rather quickly making blending and losing edges more difficult especially if one waits too long and it begins to dry. i will have to remember this as i move along and continually monitor the state of drying.
close up of initial wash: "victor is a vet"

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