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Old 02-25-2012, 05:33 PM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Hello all,

I had another model sitting for me today in my home studio. The setup began 2 weeks ago with this thread:

This is the place after a few adjustments .. still not perfect but I'm quite happy with it:

I'm not as close to the model as I'd like to be. But I'm posting it to show that work from life can be done in a single room flat without much spending, just a little determination and dabbling with the means available. The model can look at a computer screen where I leave the choice to watch what it likes, TV, a movie or the webcam in which it can see the canvas and what I do on it. This was only the second time with a model and both chose to see the painting process. I got that idea from Phillip DeLaszlo and it is I think a good way to keep the model well entertained. It is very important for me, that the sitter really enjoys the time.

This is the result from today:

Size: 70x50cm (the head got smaller than I intended it to be).
Ivory Black
Titanium White
Transparent Oxide Red
cadmium yellow
cadmium orange
cadmium red (light).
a tiny dab of blue in the eye (time did not allow to finish his right eye) finished in time

Higer Resolution: http://dustonpaper.smugmug.com/Art/Portrait/19438152_g4N8pb#!i=1725131148&k=hnxtsmK&lb=1&s=O might be slow loading.

Close Up:

High Resolution: http://dustonpaper.smugmug.com/Art/Portrait/19438152_g4N8pb#!i=1725131458&k=WLFpP88&lb=1&s=O

I wasn't able to get a really good photo without glare and the colors right. It isn't as reddish and in the pictures ... somehow the camera made all really reddish today.

Overall working time was about 4 1/2 hours. The right is was left unfinished as the model had to leave in time.

As you can see I have a huge lack of drawing skills . I like some brushtrokes, dislike others. I am not as finite with my strokes. Normally from photo, I would wipe it off again and again until I'm happy, but in the little more than 4 hours with a model I try to get as much done as I can, even knowing at a certain point it would be time to wipe it off and start over.
I'm a brushwork guy, sometime a single good brushtroke lets my heart jump in happiness and I also like the adventure and risk of direkt painting, the risk of ruining it completely with a wrong brushstroke. I know I really should stay away from the oils for a long time to come ... but I cannot help it, I would need to lock them away and dispose the key for the time being.

And I think I will have a hard time going back to work from photo ... which I will have sooner or later when my savings I have left to pay models is over. The work with models is so much more entertaining for me, to have someone to talk to (which I did with this and the last model all the time).

This sitter is very experienced and sits for several groups and the university of art as well and he paints himself ... and he said that my work was better than much what he sees there and better than some teachers work and that I should be very proud of having learned by myself . I am sure happy to hear such praise, but among us painters: that really shows the desolate state of representational painting here in my country.

The way I teach myself is memorizing books and videos ... and especially what my hero Sargent said to his students ... when I paint all the time like a mantra his words are in my head ... "stand well back and often", "you must classify values", "the thicker you paint the more color flows", "use yourself to a large brush", etc. etc. ... no idea why I write so much off topic right now, probably still a little light headed from the great fun working today.

Sorry for not commenting much on other threads this evening ... I'm really pretty exhausted from today, in a good way ... feels so good to have done something useful for the day , no matter about the result. Heading for the bunk now ... I invited another sitter for tomorrow who will be here earlier, so there is a chance I can work with daylight and I found another blue-grey backdrop which I might try tomorrow.

In advance thank you for looking and C&C of course is always much appreciated.

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Old 02-25-2012, 06:18 PM
Mares Rex Mares Rex is offline
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Thanks for sharing! Great setup. I like the serious expression. As for critique, I think the nose points a little to far to the right, it doesn't quite line up with the mouth and philtrum. This should be pretty easy to fix though.

Good job! You're showing progress.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:45 PM
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bethanyt bethanyt is offline
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Wow- for only your second one in oils- you are going so well. I think you are really learning to see- which is the great thing about working from life.
You are really onto some good things- I wish you many more sessions- they will teach you more each time.
bethany moderator in figures & portraits blogs:artbybethany life-presence website bethanyart
My inspiration is art... because without art, we would just be stuck with reality. ~Daniel R. Lynch

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Old 02-25-2012, 08:52 PM
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llawrence llawrence is online now
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Cool brushwork, dust! You're not afraid of the paint, that's awesome.

The ear looks a bit low, it will normally fit between the eyebrows and the base of the nose.
My website: http://www.rusticportraits.com
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Last edited by llawrence : 02-25-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:06 AM
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Journeyman Journeyman is offline
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Good for you Sascha a big step forward setting up your own studio. Do you have room to step back from the easel and compare the model and painting from a distance?
“What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!—and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?”
— Allen Ginsberg
Are you ready for a Journey?
PS Critiques always welcome but no plaudits or emoting please.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:28 AM
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jackiesimmonds jackiesimmonds is offline
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

I realise that the head is positioned so that you can see the right-hand plane...therefore the nose is going to be positioned accordingly. However, because of the very strong contrasts going on there, nose shape and shadow to the side, there is a very definite sense of the nose being out of place. I think you could relook at that quite usefully and give a sense of the TOP plane of the nose as well as the side plane. I know it is only a narrow strip, but it would probably help to have a slight change of tone there to suggest more of the underlying form.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:05 AM
dustonpaper dustonpaper is offline
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Max ... thank you very much for for the critique ! I too am not too happy about the nose as well.

Bethany ... I am so glad you like the result. I think I finally get what that "learning to see" thingy means. In the beginning I always thinking that is rubbish artist talk. Now I begin to have moments, and the more I work from life the more often I have them, moments where everything in my head shifts to 2D, hard to describe in words, but it really is like a switch in brain and eye ... in these moments painting gets kind of much more easy. I guess learning to paint has a lot to do with cultivating this way of looking at things ? It also takes over normal life I admit ... like I looked all my life at beautiful women ... but now I don't think about "hmmmm, very nice... " like I used too ... now it gets "hmmmm, very nice, wonder with what brushstroke I could best paint that eye-socket", the latter kind of thinking is not exclusive to young women though

Lawrence ... that you for the comment and you're right, the ear is misplaced, now a day later I see it better. To get over the fear of the paint was a long process which finally is over I think. In the start, when I still was fascinated with the flemish technique I bought a bunch of Mussini tubes (pretty expensive) ... I dabbled around with them and did not have much fun, not after the first layer that is, I felt like I was repeating every step for the rest of the painting and found that rather boring (to me, others thrive on the technique) ... I nearly gave up painting when I saw direct painted works for the first time. But then I afraid of working that way with 50$ Mussini paint ... only as I began to buy "normal" artist paint and got over the fact that a beginner like me wastes quite some paint, then it really took off. All that change happened not too long ago, around the time I began to mention Sargent in pretty much every thread I post in .

Dave ... thank you for your kind comment ! I have abour 4 meter to step back. Today I had another model (making a thread in a minute) and I had daylight and could change the setup so I could go nearer on the model and step back 5 meters instead of 4. But more wont be in it, my flat in only like 5x5meter. When the weather get's better I plan to work in some portrait/figure settings out of door, where I have the biggest studio in the world. This one here is more one of the smaller studios. And yes, it was a huge step for me which I regret very much not to have taken earlier. It always was "I need a larger room to do live work to grow as a painter" ... so I searched and searched and all was too expensive. Then, with the contact to models from the figure drawing group (important to lose the fear of asking people to sit for me) I thought to myself "lets try it in this at home, if it works it works if not I at least tried". And I am so happy that it works so well. I cannot get enough of it right now. It only is the second weekend in the new setup of my flat, but I can already say it is a game changer. I really like portraiture (landscape as well though) ... and I was at a point where working from photos didn't get me exited anymore. Not that the results where that good ... but I really felt kind of lonely standing in front of my canvas looking at a boring photo. Now I cannot get enough of it. The whole interaction with the model and to see a direct result if the model is pleased with the result ... this directness is really good for me.

Jackie ... thank you a very much lot for the helpful comment. Indeed I am not happy with the nose and your suggestion is a great thing to try. I wont change this one without the model at hand though. If I put it back on the canvas I would be like "hmm I do not like that, lets change it ... oh damn, now I really messed it up, gotta reestablish it" .. and in no time I would have a muddy mess in front of me and have it ruined. What I do is printing out your and the other suggestions and tape in on the back so I remember them when analyzing the painting.

Thank you all for the helpful comments !

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:30 AM
kentiessen kentiessen is offline
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Re: Portrait from live from today + Studio Setup

Working from life is an excellent approach to learning color/value. If portraiture is your goal, I would suggest to study drawing as much as you can as it will quickly improve your painting; it can be from books, photos, or life- whatever your budget and time allows. Your determination and willingness to learn will carry you far. Sargent is one of my favorites as well, and it is good to your sights high.
Ken Tiessen

Comments or Critiques welcomed...always!
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