Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A good day!

Today got off to a rocky start, I was late to my class, and I was overtired.  But my students were wonderful, full of energy, full of good work, feisty, and challenging.  I was inspired by them, and now I have made significant progress on my own painting... I am posting it in it's present state.. but I have already decided to make major adjustments... I will post again in a week to show you the changes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Good question!

Hello....... I had a good question from one of my followers, New Mexico Artists Web.  They wanted to know what I meant about 360degree increments when I referred to the photo I used for the sitting nude.  Many of you know that I am enrolled at the Academy of Art University pursuing my Masters of Fine Art.  I am doing the whole course online, the school is in San Francisco, I live in San Antonio!   When we are required to do a painting of a figure, since the whole class is doing the same work, the school provided us with very good photographs of the models, set up with excellent lighting.  The photographs are taken usually from many possible angles... 360 degrees.  So I could have chosen any one of  a dozen photos of the same pose.  Part of our evaluation is about how and why we choose the photo/angle that we do, what we are looking for in that pose, and how we choose to execute it, our style, etc.  The requirements are quite rigorous and thorough. 

Many people ask my how we can be graded on art over a computer.  We are required to photograph our work many times during its creation, and post those photographs on our class discussion page.  There, all the other students in the class and the instructor can view our work, and we are required to critique each others work and learn from all the critiques.  If anyone wants to see more information about this school, I encourage you to look at their web page.  This is one of the most respected art schools in the world, with students all over the world; recent classmates included students from the UAE, Switzerland, and Korea.  There are several of us in Texas.  Here is the web url:                   

Friday, July 8, 2011

Start to finish

I finally finished this painting and I am posting it in all its incarnations from start to finish...
It is oil, painted in about 40 hours, 24 x 30 on stretched canvas.  I started with a photograph supplied by the Academy of Art University as part of my MFA figurative painting class.  We are given several dozen photos to choose from, most poses are in 360 degree increments.

The first is my drawing in terra rosa and ivory black mixture, directly on the canvas.  I used a diagonal grid to help with placement on my canvas.  I had toned my canvas with a mixture of burnt sienna and yellow oxide acrylic before starting the drawing.
The next step was to establish my shadow shapes and the approximate values of those shadows.  At the same time, I did some revision of the drawing, widening her arms, moving the foot, etc.

My next step was to add some color to the background, and my initial attempts at flesh tones and values.  The palette I am using is a limited one of yellow ochre, terra rosa, ivory black, and white.  NO BLUE!  NO GREEN... every color is mixed from those 4.  During this step, I realized that some of the proportions weren't correct, and some of the gesture was "off".  So far, I have spent about 15 hours and most of the flesh tones and edges were done.  I just couldn't leave it at this point, so I spent another 12 or so hours revising all the edges and proportions to be more correct...
After I got to the point of being pretty sure everything was where it should be... I continued with the volume and value work, darkening shadow shapes, brightening and using more saturated colors for showing depth, and fine tuning the skin tones.  

The final step included work on the face for a better likeness to the model, fine tuning the skin tones, and adding details like fingernails and highlights and details on the hair...

And the finished painting.  All together about 35 to 40 hours of work.