View Full Version : "Model" - (oil on canvas *detail areas*)

09-04-2001, 11:12 AM
I do a lot of quick oil studies for practice..some I'll finish..some probably won't.

These are two detail areas of another very small canvas I was working on yesterday.

I'm posting the areas that are the most successful so far!! lol!
I am enjoying constructing form with color and values..using distortion to exaggerate and over-emphasize areas...and just more of that *drawing with paint*. (I think it takes practice)

You can see the brush-strokes and my use of color/value in these detail areas...(I am really enjoying this *modeling* form with paint lately...as this seems to be a fairly natural way for me to develope a painting.

Not posting for critique..just to share more of my explorations.
Any thoughts or observations are (as always) appreciated.


Detail of the figure's left-leg from the knee down:
Since the total size of the canvas is only 9"X12" the area of the leg and foot below is about 3"X4 1/4"....very small.


09-04-2001, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by MichaelRH
Not posting for critique..just to share more of my explorations.
Any thoughts or observations are (as always) appreciated.

I always love to see your work, but I rarely comment because of this request you almost always include. I'm not sure if you are wanting to hear aspects of the work that aren't working for me, that would be critique to me ... so I've hesitated in saying anything.

would you perhaps clarify how you differentiate a critique from thoughts and observations ?


09-04-2001, 11:43 AM
again very sculptural in a twisted universe - other laws prevail. light bends. nice.

09-04-2001, 11:53 AM

Well, I usually (very!!!!!) seldom change areas of my work at this point in my life...based on viewer's observations or suggestions. I don't think I made *suggested* changes even in school. While I think constructive criticism..helpful suggestions can be lol! helpful.....again, at this point in my life...I feel I will probably just paint as I paint and draw as I draw...things will work or they won't...and the things that won't work....won't generate much interest, and probably won't sell...and...I probably won't finish things that aren't working...or that aren't meeting my own ideas/goals/or expectations.

For example...I KNOW...I really like Milt's work..and many other artist's work (Bacon's, Sargent's, and Schiele's to name a few). I think academic instruction...suggestions..criticisms..are very useful..but only to the extent that an artist feels that it is useful or necessary (or NATURAL!!!) <-----BIG emphasis here! lol...for them to apply or use those suggestions. I think critiques of work can be beneficial......(in terms of perhaps expediting understanding...and speeding the learning process)...but, inside, I honestly feel I've learned those things that are *useful* to me already........whether or not I always apply what I've learned..or even use them consistantly....COULD (imo) detract from my natural means of self-expression.

Jeanette, I hope this makes some sense (?). In regard to the detail areas I've posted (for instance)...I feel I can paint a painting where all areas work (for me).....but there is something that tells me I NEED to get them right as quickly as possible.....or......I loose interest.

Some may say this is a lack of skill..lack of ability to *resolve* areas...but I disagree. There has always been something inside of me that has said..."if you can paint fast enough...and be alert enough as you proceed...you'll get it right VERY quickly" (based on whatever level of knowledge one has at the time). I don't feel (honestly) I need MORE knowledge about how to paint....I need to paint more..and the ability..(and NATURAL self-expression will surface).

By looking for "thoughts and/or "observations"...I guess I mean...how does the viewer FEEL about the painting they are viewing...emotionally, in terms of what does my expression (method) do to convey or...*cause* a response. (of whatever kind)..to include negative responses or down-right dislike.

Jeanette, ..how a viewer or another artist might do something differently or change something as they view my work...I note, but it probably won't influence the way I paint. I'm interested in whether or not viewers like or dislike what they see......in the state it is in. That immediate state (good or bad)...is a big part of what I feel self-expression is all about. The immediacy of my response to my subject seems to (me) to be very important. A lot of what I do...fails my own critiques........trust me on that one. :(

Jeanette...I hope this long-winded explanation helps a little..(???)

09-04-2001, 12:11 PM
totally cool, and thank you for taking the time to speak your mind.

I would add, as I feel very similar to how you are feeling, that every critique I get (that I agree with, of course HEHEHE) I save for the next painting, to add or subtract at the beginning stages. Mostly when I post, I know where my flaws are, and am looking for if others pick up on them too.


to these two ... the leg is perfection embodied(IMUO). The torso of the top one isnt working for me, I think because of our right breast ... I want to see more distortion there.

emotionally, I dig your facial expressions the most, the lips in the top pic are entirely kissable. quite well done.

thanks for posting :D

09-04-2001, 01:19 PM
These are just follow-up thoughts prompted by Jeanette's question:

Here goes...IF...you attend years of academic classes..(to include MANY classes in drawing..life-drawing, painting..composition...figure-painting--portrait painting....on and on......at what point can you stop...and say to yourself..."this is my NATURAL-(emphasis here) means of self-expression"???

I've noticed that when artists become..*masters*-( ie: masters of *technique* lets say), certain painting styles (by these masters) look similar (to me). (Not a negative btw)

One thing that looks the same to me...is that all of these paintings are lol!!very good. :rolleyes: But there is a point I'm trying to make.

I suppose one could argue that they are all unique in terms of technique/style..and that these paintings are a culmination of the years of knowledge...tips, suggestions...and training...that the artist has learned in order to paint...*NATURALLY* (ie: to paint in a manner that is a natural part of the artist's self-expression).

Van Gogh's paintings were the result of his natural means of self-expression. and Schiele's, and Sargent's and Picasso's, etc.

How much formal training is necessary, and does seeking more of it logically and necessarily make one better able to express him or herself? I wonder.

I suppose my questions is this.... is it necessary to continue to pursue a degree in fine-art...and continue on a program of academic learning...in order (at some point) to stop and come to the realization that..."Hey!...I know what I FEEL I need to know in order to paint MY paintings."? And granted, there are many reasons to continue to study and pursue degrees.

I (personally) have a sense that self-expression lies somewhere between a beginning/basic/fundamental knowledge AND intuition, and...a SELF-determined competency.

I feel I've seen beautiful paintings.....where self-expression (painted at whatever level of competence the artists was working)......played a far more important part in the success of the painting..(ie: the *state* of the painting's...immediacy)...than paintings I've seen where technical virtuosity was the ******dominant******* factor. All of this is very subjective of course. Knowing our own likes and dislikes is a very personal matter.
I suppose if emotional content/or idea......is matched or supported by technical skill....the chances of producing a successful painting...would (I think)..increase. (?)

I feel there are a many (varied) factors that play a part in the success of a work of art.

btw: Critiques CAN be beneficial if they they help one paint paintings that are MORE truthful (and faithful) to the artist's OWN very personal means of self-expression. (just my opinion).

09-05-2001, 08:17 AM

Somehow this one seems so refined; it has a unity and so strong

love it!


09-05-2001, 08:24 AM

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on critiques and self expression! Very well put and helpful to me in my own musings on similar issues.


and thanks for posting your work here!!!!

09-05-2001, 08:32 AM

Totally agree with you on your philosophy. You cannot let others dictate your style just because they don't agree/get it.

My screen loaded and scrolled to a funny place, and I saw the breasts and the bellybutton as a face...ala Eduard Munch scream or the Magritte torso.

09-05-2001, 10:04 AM
Thanks Cindy and Michelle...I probably appear to have issues with continuing to seek knowledge and training in art (in particular, the acquisition of more and more training in the development of one's skills. (painting to be more specific).

I am talking from my personal experience. How one paints has something to do with how one thinks and experiencies life...and how one communicates. For me, I was always a bit *cautious*. I feel that I wanted to learn enough of the fundamentals/tools/various techniques...but ONLY enough so that they would allow me points of departure (ways that I could begin to learn the best way(s) to express myself). I guess I have always been fearful of painting *like* someone else, and I've had to wonder when I see styles of painting that are quite similar.....if...the artists (represented by these similar styles of work)....are actually communicating with just naturally similar languages. (?). I suppose.

It is not a matter of making a point to avoid working in a style or technique that looks like someone elses... it is a matter of hehe..somehow KNOWING the way I express myself is my true/natural means of self-expression. This has been an important consideration for me, because I (still) often feel I do not have a specific *style*...that my paintings (and drawings to some extent) appear different from painting to painting...because my reactions (from subject to subject)...are never really the same.

I can see a good economic reason to develope a consistant style of painting (galleries seem to like that)..and its very good for many artists who work that way ($$$).

I'm not sure I have the self-discipline (or desire) to work in one method/style....there are too many other (ideas/concepts---((((Cindy)))) to explore. I think that is why artists whose work seems to reflect changes over time (ie: Picasso, even Schiele and Klimt do a degree)...has held some interest for me. But, then again, Francis Bacon's work is fairly consistant in approach, and his work has always been at the top of my list.

I guess the old cliche "Practice makes perfect" still makes me a bit uncomfortable. Human beings are far from perfect......is it "natural" for us to paint as though we are?? (noble to pursue the *ideal*).

For me...there is much more truth in spontaniety/errors/blunders...although I can understand the human desire to be the best at something we can be.

I don't sense that exceptional ability is anywhere near the norm. (It can represent human potential, but truth/honest human interaction can exist at many levels of human accomplishment.

How does all of this relate to critiques/the subjective nature of nearly all works of art?

Making statements that represent our individual truths as artists does not (imo) require the acquisition of technical mastery, although I do feel the pursuit of this mastery is a worthy goal in itself.....for whatever reason one is motivated to pursue excellence.

I'm stating the obvious here...but societies usually seem to value and reward (technical ?) mastery in nearly all human undertakings. (certainly not a negative btw!)

But (just a concluding thought)...the truth in self-expression (for many creative people)...does not necessarily require the ability (or self-discipline/conformity, lol, call it what you will) of adopting pre-existing *patterns* of learning. Regardless of what societies appear to value-----(and reward).

09-05-2001, 05:51 PM
This is still the first sitting, which included the sketch (red-pencil),and this first coat of paint.

I thought I'd go ahead and post the whole painting/gesture, and.....include the areas (in circles) that I want to develope.

The two blue circles on her right foot and knee, are the areas that I feel need the most attention. The other small violet circles are areas that I just want to finish or refine a bit more..there is still some canvas showing through on her right hand. (yes..the distortions were intentional)...hand is intentionally large.

The LARGE circle....are areas I just want to spend a bit more time on...to fine-tune these areas. I haven't spent time on this since my original post...well I did touch it..with a value or two..just to check on a relationship.

It has been fun to continue drawing with the paint.

I'm posting this so you can see what I don't like about it..at this point.


09-05-2001, 10:15 PM
i'm glad your level of fault tolerance is lower than mine
that is what makes your work so well executed
your creativity is what makes it enjoyable

well done again michael
always enjoyable

09-06-2001, 09:34 AM
Whoa, a whole lot to read.

Uhm, I hope I did understand your opinion correctly, but there is something I do not agree.

For me, true mastership is when you are a master of technique and then forget what you learned. Gain control of errors, and then not just "learning" from them, but using them. (Who had that quote...J*? Took me some time to understand it emotionally) Therefore I find critiques on techniques helpful and I think I always will.