Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Diane - 7 November 2007

This was a short sitting (about 1 hour) and it was a with the purpose of trying Richard Schmidt's technique of working the drawing out of a mix of burnt sienna and ivory black.

It's a fairly simple technique, but can be very difficult to master. I was lucky with this one; I liked the result.

The painting starts by covering the entire canvas with a thinned mixture of burnt sienna and ivory black (the mix should be blotchy so that you have patches of sienna and patches of black) - the mixture is thinned with turpentine. Once the canvas is prepared it needs a short while to dry, it's time to start painting again once the paint no longer is able to run.

The painting is then done by both painting fresh tones of the sienna / black mix and by using a cloth to rub away the coloured texture causing highlights. I.e. Paint the darks and rub out the lights.

The pose is exactly as was in Richard Schmidt's book and I followed his instructions closely. This was to be the under painting with a more complete colour painting worked over it, but I liked it so much that I was compelled to stop.

We had a small exhabition at the office (I work for a large South African retailer) and this painting was sold within the first hour of being on display. It was never meant to be a finished work of art so I the selling price was very low (the buyer actually gave me more than my asking price!)

Oil on board - SOLD

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christine - 4 (5& 6) (September 2007)

Christine was a challenge.

There was something about her that managed to drain inspiration, I don't know what it was about her that was so incongruent with my idea of the perfect woman that it I battled to capture her.

She was confident without her clothes, almost excited to have us see her nude... but in a weird way... think of a fat, middle aged, balding man that is confident about his nudity; no one wants to see that kind of nudity, yet they persist in showing it to us. The way she presented herself was like that, except she had nice breasts and beautiful skin.

I still don't know how to explain it, but she and my artistic sense clashed with catastrophic results.

I did three paintings of her, this is the best of the batch. I loved the way the green flows through the entire picture.

I'm going to claim artistic licence and count all three sessions, but I'm only going to present you with the one.

"Green Christine" - Oil on board
(For sale)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Betty - 3 (October 2007)

Betty sat for us for one session.
We often leave paints at home for once off sessions - the medium to inevitably ends up being charcoal or pastel. This one is pastel pencil on Canson paper.

Betty never sat for us after this session, I think there was a general feeling of being deceived - she advertised herself as being; trim and blond. Well Betty turned out to be Nigerian and trim is not the correct adjective. If she never misrepresented herself she would have been invited back for a longer pose. I would loved to have done a painting of her.

She sat brilliantly and I am very fond of this drawing.

I often get asked about her nipples and breasts - yes they were that size and shape. That is the wonderful thing about figure drawing/painting - we get to be amazed at the abundance of variation when it comes to the human body!
You'll hear me repeating this often; am so privileged to be able to to figure study.
Pastel pencil on Canson paper

Alice - 1 & 2 (November 2007)

This is the first nude that I was happy with, I know this is not the one that's going to make me famous, but I'm also by no means embarrassed by it; I'm quite nostalgic about it actually.

This is the only acrylic painting in this set, I've given up on acrylic for now. It's also the only painting I've done on paper that is not water colour.

About Alice, she was a wonderful model with a lovely full figure and divine breasts. She had a very hard jaw line, but she was an absolute joy to work with... till the last session.

Alice sat for us in a three poses, the one above was the second pose and we were over the moon about how well she sat for us.

The third session changed everything - One of the artists asked if we could have a standing pose... and the pose was fantastic, however Alice neglected to tell us about her wild afternoon at the pub. Every second was a different pose to the last, she swayed from one side to the other and her expression was of someone trying not to be sick. It certainly was entertaining, but she's never been invited back.

This is a quick sketch from that ill fated last session:

Pastel pencil on paper

As with all my paintings, feel free to make an offer (leave a comment), these two are particularly affordable ;)

By the way, if you're wondering who 'we' is - I belong to a figure study group, we paint together once a week. It's a collective idea to reduce individual costs.
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