Practice

Practice and humility are essential for my development in art and life.

Not because I am “not good enough”. Not because “I am better than”.

Both of these states are comparative and self-defeating. I am just an artist among artists.

I went to my regular figure drawing workshop yesterday and found out that a colleague was teaching a beginning figure drawing class right after the workshop. I have never had any instruction in drawing before and it never occurred to me that I needed any. He was gracious enough to allow me to sit in on his class and I learned much in his approach.

Charcoal Portrait Stages

14×17″ Charcoal from last night at the Art League

Very similar stages of completion but after a nights sleep and about 15 more minutes of work, the one on the right looks far better.

The one on the left is how I stopped with the model last night at 8pm.

I thought it was finished but when I looked this am with fresh eyes I saw some issues I needed to address.

  • Jaw too low where it meets the chin, decrease the jowl and strengthen jaw line
  • Too much highlight on cheek and forehead. Shade and tighten up/define highlights
  • Eye too dark. Highlight and define.
  • Separate head outline from background and darken head shadow on shoulder to make the head “pop out”.

experiment

2 from the Art League today. Charcoal on sketchpad 9×12″

First one was vine charcoal in 15 min. Second one was vine charcoal 25 min then compressed charcoal pencil 25 min.

I am new to charcoal and learned something about the materials.

When I did commercial art I rarely experimented with materials I did not know. It was too risky. Its nice to be learning again.

Almost

Hal -Oil on Canvas 18×24″

9-8-2016 Day One: Water main broke at the studio about 30 minutes before the session was to begin. I had asked the model to wear a black jacket or at least long sleves. Mostly to save time on the painting session. Also, the model was going to bring a canvas with him at 10×10″, this also to save time by just painting the head.

None of these things worked out in my favor. That’s life.

I shut off the water main. Selected a grey primed 18×24″ canvas and started a full length seated. Hal had some unusual scars on his arms particularly a good one on his right forearm from a dance with a plate glass window. These were all nice details anyway.

The first session lasted from 11am until 3pm with a few breaks and a snack. Hal was really a patient model and good storyteller so a good time was had by all.

The first session was blocked in to my satisfaction and I took a few photos for reference.

I picked up the brushes the next day and spent 3 solid hours lighting the face, hair and eyes.

I am about done except some background area fill and defining the weight on the left side so that his arm makes sense where it is. One more day on this one, I think.

 

Florence Academy

Lifedraw 9-4 _18x24

18×24″ black Conté crayon, from the Art League life draw on Sunday.

These 2 young ladies showed up with a specific model and set-up they wanted to use. It turns out that they both went to the Florence Academy and studied classical style. It was apparent in their work. Masterful. well proportioned and executed drawings delivered by these 2 young artists reconfirmed the ideas I have always held that drawing skills can be taught. It’s not random dispersions of talent.

I was inspired enough to spend the next 2 hours making this careful study, even though I had just lousy newsprint paper.