Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I have had an interesting time with my latest restoration project. My friend Betsy had a lovely old painting which had fallen on something and was badly torn. She asked if I could fix it and So once I saw it and realized what a gorgeous painting I said I would do my best.

As you can see its a lovely painting of a hunting dog and his master getting ready to go hunting. J.M. Tracy, the artist who painted this work, was well known for his portrayals of hunting dogs and their masters. It was painted in the 1870's or 80's . Thank goodness the rip was not in the figures.

The canvas was extremely brittle so I had to use conditioner before relining it with a new canvas, patching then inpainting. It has taken quite a long time ,but it is such a lovely painting that it was a joy working on it.


This is how it looked partly finished. I am nearly finished now and just need to varnish it. One learns so much about painting when you have to restore really good paintings which hopefully will have an impact on my own painting.

It has occurred to me in the process of restoring some of the older paintings that the canvases used were perfect. The surface was so much smoother and without blemish than our modern ones are. Granted, they used white lead in their ground which is really better than our more modern substitutes albeit unhealthier. I would love to get my canvases at least closer to that quality than I have  up to this point.I guess I will be experimenting with my grounds to see if I can get it closer to theirs.
I have had an interesting time with my latest restoration project. My friend Betsy had a lovely old painting which had fallen on something and was badly torn. She asked if I could fix it and So once I saw it and realized what a gorgeous painting I said I would do my best.

As you can see its a lovely painting of a hunting dog and his master getting ready to go hunting. J.M. Tracy, the artist who painted this work, was well known for his portrayals of hunting dogs and their masters. It was painted in the 1870's or 80's . Thank goodness the rip was not in the figures.

The canvas was extremely brittle so I had to use conditioner before relining it with a new canvas, patching then inpainting. It has taken quite a long time ,but it is such a lovely painting that it was a joy working on it.


This is how it looked partly finished. I am nearly finished now and just need to varnish it. One learns so much about painting when you have to restore really good paintings which hopefully will have an impact on my own painting.

It has occurred to me in the process of restoring some of the older paintings that the canvases used were perfect. The surface was so much smoother and without blemish than our modern ones are. Granted, they used white lead in their ground which is really better than our more modern substitutes albeit unhealthier. I would love to get my canvases at least closer to that quality than I have  up to this point.I guess I will be experimenting with my grounds to see if I can get it closer to theirs.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Portraits and such



  While I have been working on a series of paintings from my French trip, I have also been teaching a portrait class for the last 5 weeks.
  Normally when I teach a portrait class, it has to do with proportion, observation of the skull and what bone points one sees in a face. We also pay attention to certain muscles of the face as well as understanding the planes of the face and how they change in value. I usually like to see my students end up with good drawings or paintings rather than a strict likeness. After they understand all that, then We usually concentrate on getting a likeness.

This time however, I decided to approach the portrait from an emotional or storytelling point of view.This was not a course for beginners but for students who had experience with drawing or painting portraits. I must say I think they had a good time.

I was able to do a couple of demos during the class. Here is a one from our recent model.
It's a pastel study. 

I usually like to do my demos with my students. That way they can come and look any time during the process and I don't take up too much of their paint time. It has worked pretty well for me and them.