Tuesday, January 06, 2015

30/30 Challenge - Materials - Days 4-6

In a series of self-portrait paintings the intention was to paint from life (no photos) and see how similar or different each painting looked. Sorry you are not able to see the exact differences here, but you can take my word that they did not look the same at all.

From life because when using a photo, I find it is much easier to measure distances between shapes a features, and I want to train my eye to be more accurately from life.

Three days of the same model (me), the same lighting, and the same pose, with a time limit of about one to one and one half hour each. Exploring materials on these too...
you'll find the notes with each image.

Day 4

The first of three - using oil primed linen sheet, and bristle brush with a mix of
transparent red oxide and ultramarine blue, and with the lighting from from my left overhead. The image is reversed because of using a mirror to see the pose.

I thought the first effort was harsh looking with the stark white canvas; the surface was good, but smoother than I usually use. I'm told smoother is important when doing a portrait. There is a likeness of me even though I was looking pensive (which I was) about how to proceed with this effort. I deliberately put lots of detail in the facial area - wrinkles, puffy eyes and all to exercise my sight skills! I still want to make adjustments, but no more time.

Definitely have more work to do... I'll let it dry and then paint over in color to see how that turns out! Sorry I'm not showing it at this time because I don't want it to get posted to google... remembering that we must be careful about what the world sees of your work in general.

Day 5

© 2015
The materials for this one is linen with a clear acrylic ground, same colors used as above with the addition of white, and same brush with the addition of a sable 'cat's tongue'. This particular brush was amazing for control to get to some smaller detail...

I see some areas that need improved drawing, but could address this when it is dry and I paint over it in color, or do another with this canvas sheet. This one I think had the best likeness.

Will make a few adjustments in the next few days and then do another for demonstration purposes.

Enjoyed this one more than the last - even though you might not know it by the expression on my face! ;o)

Day 6

The last one of the three was the most difficult and here are the reasons: 

Because I liked using a toned ground on the last one, I painted a toned background over white acrylic to try for a similar look. The mistake - it wasn't as dry as I thought! Yikes!! Grrrrrr... sadly failed.

I also used the same colors as above, but with a soft round #4 synthetic brush. It has it goods points and bad, but really hard to evaluate because of the background lifting up where I didn't want it to lift even with a softer brush. And did not lift as much as I'd like in other areas, so a little white paint helped some. In my opinion, this brush was too soft for this exercise.

As I mentioned, the paint colors are the same, but I didn't always use the colors mixed hoping to compensate for the undesired mixing, but still got mud - ugh!

In spite of the difficulties, I decided to stick with it instead of changing the materials to see just what I could resolve, or not. Ultimately, after about an hour of working, I've learned better what not to do which is just as important as what one should do, yes?

I always say there's never a bad day in the studio, but you'll have to excuse me now, while I go wipe this last one down...  

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