Friday, August 30, 2013

Figure painting workshop

I just completed an amazing 10 day figure painting workshop at BACAA with master painter Juliette Aristides.  This was a rare opportunity for me to take time off from work to participate in this workshop.  It was so much fun to work side by side with fellow artists and learn from Juliette how to paint the figure as the great masters have for centuries.

We jumped right into things on day 1 starting with value paintings based on copies of famous paintings by masters such as John Singer Sargent.  We focused on big connected shapes with only four values.  The rest of week 1 included value paintings of the model, gesture sketches ranging from 2 to 10 minute poses, measured sketches, and a small value study using a very limited palette.  At the end of week 1 we enjoyed a field trip to the Legion of Honor to practice our drawing of master paintings.  We discussed not only technique but also what makes a good composition and even a bit about the philosophy of art.

Week 2 we launched into a complete study of the figure painting process starting with a drawing and then an underpainting using the “wipe-out” method to render the values.  After the underpainting dried we introduced what I found the most difficult task of rendering the figure in color while observing warm and cool temperatures and values to gradually turn forms into a believable work of art.  A combination of demos and painting for the remaining two days helped us gain a better understanding and appreciation of this complex task.  As time ran out, we all did our best to wrap up our paintings but what was most valuable (and important) was the wealth of knowledge Juliette Aristides imparted on us and simply having a lot of fun with fellow artists.

Below are pictures of different stages of my figure painting including some of the sketches and studies we did along with a certificate as proof I completed the workshop.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lawrence of Arabia

I am currently reading a fascinating book, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Scott Anderson.  It chronicles the events during World War I centered around the lives of a handful of pivotal characters that shaped the outcome in the "side show of side shows" as T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) once remarked.  Below is a quick sketch I did from a picture I found on the Internet of T.E. Lawrence.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lady in pink

Thomas Benjamin Kennington painted Portrait of a Lady in a Pink Dress in the 19th century. I liked the intelligent, piercing yet soft gaze of this woman.  Below is a copy I did with charcoal on toned paper.