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Old 11-20-2005, 11:45 PM
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djstar djstar is offline
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Two from open studios

I WAS feeling really good. Like I was in a groove that I would never pop out of then I tried ONE MORE tonight and am so humble, I wiped it off....
BUT while the confidence was high, I did this at a friend's studio on Friday:

Detail:


So on Saturday I went to the school and this fell out of my brush!








Some weeks are sooooo good!
dj*
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:13 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

I very much love these Debra.

Jocelyn
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:06 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

Yeap! Both are beautiful. It is fascinating to watch wip.
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:36 PM
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saintlukesguild saintlukesguild is offline
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Re: Two from open studios

Wow! You were in a groove all right. The WIP girl... would you tell us what colors you forsaw to put on your palette? To work so fast and correctly I mean.
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Old 11-22-2005, 02:05 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

dj*, you are amazing -- these are both so beautiful. Thankyou for making the second one a WIP.

Val.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:25 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

Very nice indeed!
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:52 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

That's so nice, I linked to it on my blog.

The sequence of photos is very instructive for those of us who are struggling with those first attempts with oils.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:30 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

Love your bold out lines and bold colors. These two are fantastic.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:31 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

Fantastic portraits...and thanks for the mini step by step....facinating to watch.
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:55 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

A pulchritudinous woman! Ah - should be more of them. I love your fleshy voluminous first portrait! How do we so easily miss 95% of our population! Resurrect Rubens, that's what I say!
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:09 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

Thank you all.

I had a bit of a try at a brand new technique and fell flat on my face on Sunday and Monday, so I will try to remember what I was doing right this week and do it again next week!

The key things I decided about these were 1) make a good sketch in oil first. Even if it is just a few lines, in open studio you DECIDE where the model will be and stick to your IMPRESSION of the pose, because she will move.
2) put a proper value in as a background. I was trying to splash around all over the place on my new one and neglected a background. The values all hang together. If I don't know where the head lives, the whole picture falls apart when I do th background behind it. (ME! These are how I work best, and others are only invited to listen, not obey.)

I want to try to do a more splashy technique from photos, where I am not always trying to chase a nose around, but only work on changing one or two things, not starting over from scratch. The result was a generally bad painting because I never was confident of the subject, so I resorted to going back to what did work, and it was too late..... this makes little sense to you all, but most important: Don't begin to paint, until you have a strong image in either your head or on your paper to paint into! It is only asking for trouble.
dj*
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:42 AM
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Re: Two from open studios

True DJ. Totally makes sense actually. You learn all this stuff by doing over and over again, and making errors. Getting down a really quick and accurate placement when working from life is a good point. Then, you have a good base before things start changing.

An excersize I viewed recently in a life class was one I had never seen before. The students were asked to draw the model a little to the left or right of the position she/he was in. Wow, hard. Never had an instructor at college done this excersize with us as students. Also, viewing the model for a minute, then drawing what you recall seeing. All great observational excersizes.

Glad to see your paintings from life again in here.
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:28 AM
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saintlukesguild saintlukesguild is offline
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Re: Two from open studios

Your above post strikes a chord dj. Along that line, if you paint on pre-stretched canvas, do you find a toned ground easier to work on? Or does a quick brush sketch on white accomadate your instincts better? Then close in all the value gaps as quickly as possible to establish gages? Am I making sense? This sort of thing is difficult to articulate. Would still like to hear your thoughts.
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Old 11-23-2005, 03:34 PM
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Re: Two from open studios

... so here is the deal.

I was suggested (and it is an excellent suggestion, but came when I was feeling very confident) to stretch a bit and try putting a blob of paint, and work generally from large masses back into drawing. Not to draw such precise forms and sort of fill them in. The concept is just plain good. BUT I was diving in without a parachute. I started ice skating. I used paints I was not familiar with, had bad light and used oil... never add oil these days... but couldn't get the concept of BLOB out of my mind.
I was humbled.

I tried again and worked more flamboyantly at first, but still, with no sketch below, I wandered all over the place and it ended up looking like a very bad version of my regular stuff.


THESE days, I have been proud of a couple of leaps. 1) as you describe, I have stopped depending on a toned background and am becoming comfortable on the white canvas. I think it is from my pastel years. It is much easier to work up AND down from a middle value than strictly add to white. I have struggled with this a long time, and must say, I think that is my major success.
2) I dash of a very crisp sketch these days and do, as again you describe, work darks and lights to meet in a form, not just leave the underpainting value as a middle tone. I am consciously aware of the range of values and tones I wish to get into and where.

I have always spoken of open studio as STRATEGY, not painting. The compact form of three hours, has for me, been a great way of honing some sort of discipline which did not exist in my general approach to studies. I do make a lot of mental notes and challenges and make a LOT of decisions as to the goals of my work before I see the model. ....Like one day I will say, I am going to do a 3/4 body and head and try NOT to work on likeness, to build a body. Or the first picture here, I knew was going to be a strawberry blonde, in a black dress. I knew there would be lots of skin and I decided to try a lightly toned canvas in cobalt green as my base. I wanted to see if the pale tones I imagined would work with these skin tones. Using a complementary color to what I thought her skin may be might or might not be responsible for the golden warmth of he finished piece.
It is less KNOWING what the outcome will be than DECIDING a direction and trying to stick to it.

I also have given up on stretching. I buy a huge $70 roll of preprimed canvas, about 50" by 15 feet or so, at the art store and I cut off chunks about three extra inches than the proposed size. I tape them to a strong light weight board (a shrink wrap poster a friend gave me with 1/2" foam core makes it easy to carry) and when it is drying I tape it to a mirror or wall and then in a week or so, I clip them in a stack in the closet with a pant hanger! I have walls of stretched and framed stuff and simply ran out of room. I have even begun unstretching some of my less successful pieces and recycling the stretcher bars.

This is too much information, no doubt, but I am mulling things over in my mind on how I want to work with live models these days and, as I have been moaning about for some years... need to stop being so addicted to the studio and start making my OWN pictures.
dj*
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Old 11-23-2005, 04:44 PM
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saintlukesguild saintlukesguild is offline
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Re: Two from open studios

This certainly isn't too much information. I think I am following along with a great deal of it, and seeing it in the images you have posted here. Thank you. Always fascinating to see how others work and what their thinking is when they can express it. I am with you in that some architectural scheme should be envisioned before you step to the canvas. Some glimpse of the finished idea, and a probable route to arrive there. Thanks again dj.

Luke
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