Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Teaching schedule

I'm teaching portraits on Monday nights, 7-9 pm at the Naperville Art League, and figure drawing on Tuesday nights at the Naperville Art League. The portrait class is booked, but the figure drawing can be taken a la carte. Go to for more information.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Horns big

If you click on it, it will send you to the big version. Here is a brief explanation of what's going on:
I'm playing with the idea that an image "goes through" some kind of transformation, some kind of interruption by other images and references. Probably I've babbled on about this before, the idea to paint things as they are remembered. So, this is not just a "thing" but a thing that went through something else, some other transformative process, and became some other idea. True itself in some ways, and only an allusion to itself in others. Before, I would paint a thing and it was like a straight shot, beginning to end, to get to the representation of its form. This idea is to paint the thing, and then to paint a feeling of the thing, sort of unconsciously, on top of it.

Horns update

Well now, I feel like I accomplished something. I definitely broke the seal on it. For sure. There's all kinds of stuff in there you probably can't see - cities and tree roots and landscape. There are blocks of motion and sun. I really don't know.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Washer in Progress

Here is a work in progress, the Washer. Also known as "Nice Polish Girl."
Feeling froggy, I just go ahead and smack a drawing onto a 24 x 30, untoned canvas. Later, I will regret not toning the canvas. But I woke up from a nap and had to get this thing on its way to life. You can see all my construction lines and angles, and some of them are accurate. Contours are for sissies.
This is what some people call a wash-in stage. I don't do a great job of it - see all the white areas? I'll be sorry for that in a couple of days too. But basically at this point I've established a narrow-value version of the whole composition, and I'm feeling optimistic about it. Also, I've blocked in some dark underpainting for areas I intend to be light later, which will give them a depth I enjoy.

This stage is what I call the "making a home" stage. I'm making a place for the subject to live in. I know that sounds kooky, and I am OK with that. The idea here is to lay down a mostly correct drawing - you can see I changed the extended arm a lot - and lay down mostly correct values. This is the home/nest/bed that the subject of the painting will later be painted onto. Some parts are probably done and I won't mess with them later.

That may be my best bucket of all time. The figure is painted with thinned paint because she is in shadow, and here is where toning the canvas would have saved me a lot of time today. Instead of being able to really work on the volume and tension of the figure, I had to work on the drawing and the blocking in. But the next session will be better. I have Friday off work so I am hopeful this will be done next weekend.