Thursday, February 13, 2020

Memory Matters

"Signposts on the Way to What May be" Robert Henri

"The development of the power of seeing and the power to retain in the memory that which is essential and to make record and thus test out how true the seeing and the memory have been is the way to happiness" Robert Henri

I must have read these words way back in or shortly after my art school days and taken them to hart.  I have referred to many of my on site observations as Memory Sketches, where I work on them well after the subject has departed.

The following posts will chronicle the developmental stages in both initial observations but also the development process as the work takes on its own look departing from the initial photo or sketch.

Buster and friend 

Above is the original 3 hour session drawing. I will get back to painting this, with the models present, during the summer.  In the interim I decided to work on this via my iPad and SketchBook app.  I plan to revise and correct and then complete a finished digital painting before the live sessions begin. I'll do similar revisions to the charcoal original before spraying with fixative and adding a layer of shellack prior to painting.

Above: some slight revisions on an opaque layer in SketchBook correcting hand sizes, head sizes, and bringing out the female model's foreshortened arm and Reducing male model's right arm to send it back a bit further within the image.

Above: I lightened the revised layer so as to better construct the body masses of the figure in blue line.  Again adjusting body part sizes And checking the perspective of all parts.

Above: Turning the revised layer way down better reveals just the constructive masses, once removing the working piece from the original. This allows me to see the development of the piece not so much the reference and bring my knowledge of the figure into play as I adjust.

Above: I'll complete a detail layer in brown line using mainly the blue layer as a guide but can also turn on off or  up the other layers as needed.

But before I continue with the digital I though I'd go back to the real deal and deal with the revisions to be done per the above review on my ipad.

I sprayed the surface with workable fixative so as to lock in the original.  Then I glazed over the revision area with a soft pastel and a little finger rubbing.
Satisfied for now with the female I blotted out the male model revision area.

Was able to dance back and forth and blot out and redo a few times.

Weariness coincided with a good place to stop. 

The full sheet. Also elongated the male model's legs and tidied up the background.  I think I have something I can spray again and paint.  Not getting the models back till mid summer so the fixative will allow the occasional tweaking here and there. 

I'll be adding to this as the piece is developed....


Above: The original photo of the eagle dancer holds a lot of detail but lacked the dynamic movement
lodged in my memory.

Above: Using SketchBook on my iPad I cut out and copied just the dancer to a new layer. Cutting and repositioning the torso, arms and other parts achieved the memory I had of the movement. 

Above: Adding some quick color to simplify the background and adding a more dynamic shadow I was able to better focus on determining the figure within the costume.
Above: With the original reference layer turned off I am able to work the dancers figure detail and add the costuming. 
I'll be adding to this as the piece is developed....

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Art Up Date


Accepted To: True Likeness - Portrait and Figure exhibit at the New Mexico Art League. 

These three figurative pieces have been accepted for the upcoming show...

Did this in the last century

Recent, 20 min. black and white charcoal.

Recent, 20 min. black and white charcoal.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

There Will Be Flesh


Recent Figure Work

Single session. Was to be a Charlie's Angels motif but one model canceled so back to a pair.

Charcoal pencils on cream colored paper.




Recent Figure Work

Week two of a three session run. Establishing the skin tones (I initially typed, shin tones, oddly enough it does apply) and white cloth, will hit the highlights again next week...



Recent Figure Work

Week one of a three session run.  Tried to avoid the detail but still have enough to work with...

Raw Umber washes and line work on shellacked museum board.



Recent Figure Work

Got a satisfying result drawing with the three grey tones so what do I do? Start a two week session by drawing with a brush using burnt umber and burnt sienna. 1/26/2020

Recent Figure Work

Got a satisfying result drawing with the three grey tones so what do I do? Start a two week session by drawing with a brush using burnt umber and burnt sienna.



Recent Figure Work

More experimenting wth a way to sneak up on a drawing wile working larger than my usual quick sketches. Three tones of grey pastel pencil on canvas board. 

Original quick sketch

Light grey pastel pencil

Medium grey pastel pencil added

Dark grey pastel pencil added



Recent Figure Work

Trying out three grey pastel pencils, a red, and a white on a slick gessoed board.  Final stage is too smooth for me just yet. Will try same pencils on museum board in a few weeks from a live model... and the beat goes on and the beat goes on...




Recent Figure Work

Another start on museum board with red and black charcoal. Two more sessions with two breaks in between. 



Recent Figure Work

Session three of three. Could use one more session but at least I got the figure well along enough to do more to it, if I get to it. Scroll down to 11/1/19 for previous sessions. (Pretty cool effect here on the hair from a side light when pic was taken)



Recent Figure Work

The Sunday group does a double figure session once a month. The model coordinator based this pose on an old Victorian photo and even painted a backdrop to match the original pic. 



Recent Figure Work

Session two, added some background color and established how bright the whites would be...ish.



Recent Figure Work

Results of applying shellack to the drawing on Museum board, ready for oils, and some details there of.



Recent Figure Work

First of three sessions. Red and Black charcoal pencils on Museum Board. Will spray this with fixative then a layer of shellack to seal before continuing with oils.



Recent Figure Work

Single session this week with two models. Had just 4 hours to work on this so chose charcoal on white paper. Lamented not having soft white pastel to clean up some of the highlights.



Recent Figure Work

Last session with this model. I liked the process of drawing on museum board then shellacking the drawing but need the third week to get further along.



Recent Figure Work

Top image from this week’s efforts. Pencil with red and black charcoal on paper.  Will coat with shellac and go at the color next week.

Been having issues with my bifocal lenses. Stepping in to work the details through the lower half has been producing a 10-20 percent increase in that area. Below is the previous week where I tried to correct the head and arm away from the sessions then gave up and painted out the enlarged arm. Went at the redrawing with paint today until it just got too gooey painting into the whites out area.



Recent Figure Work

A single session pose this week.

The desired crop



Recent Figure Work

Third session of three. Never enough time...



Recent Figure Work

Second session of three. Painted out the head and did a white wash over the charcoal drawing and decided to go with a tonal brush drawing to lock in the pose...


Recent Figure Work

New session of three weeks...

Red and grey charcoal on gessoed board.


Recent Figure Work

Third and final session...



Recent Figure Work

Slowly I paint, inch by inch, step by step...
(session two of three)



Recent Figure Work

Shaking things up with a costumed model...
The configuration of these session is three weeks costumed
 three weeks nude, belly dancer this series.   



Recent Figure Work

Not sure I'm learning what to do right just yet but I think I am learning what not to do...

Two 3 hour sessions oil on 14x18 gessoed panel



Recent Figure Work

Brought the larger format paper (18x14), haven't
worked big for a while...

All images here cropped from 18 x24 in paper.



Recent Figure Work

A mixed bag of fountain pen, ball point, pencil, charcoal, times may vary...

Fountain pen with new to me gray ink, finally found a dot black gray, hooray! 

At left, two longer poses, same pen. To right, ballpoint pen.

20 Min. pose black and white charcoal 



Recent Figure Work

Top most image below is the second week of a three week session. the three below are false starts from week two...

Finally began this with the red and black charcoal used I use in a
previous post (see below)  
This time I focused more on shapes a color for initial drawing.
This is only brush work for initial drawing, just did not do it for me. 

Resorted to just charcoal drawing and gave up.

The bottom most images above were done on the same panel and then rubbed out.
The top most above image was done on this panel.



Recent Figure Work

Dwelling on the pose well after the model has changed to a new one has proven to be an enjoyable session and I do like the results...

Working back in pose lengths, twenty minute. Black and white charcoal. 

Started as a 5 minute and stretched to 10.

2 minutes stretched to  4-5.

1 minute stretched to 3-5.



Recent Figure Work

A variety of pose lengths.  This go round I used mostly fountain pen with some pencil, sometimes, then the longer poses I employed the Red-Black charcoal pencil and then added white...

One minute poses that I dwelled on for a minute or so after the model changed

2 minute poses that I dwelled on for a minute or so after the model changed
Five minute poses that I dwelled on for a five minutes or so after the model changed

A ten minute pose that I dwelled on for another 10 minute or so after the model changed

Twenty minute pose.

Memory Matters

"Signposts on the Way to What May be" Robert Henri "The development of the power of seeing and the power to retain in the...