Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the joy of painting outdoors

Hey its been a fun week artistically.
 On thursday morning I went to lake Higgins to do some plein air painting- what a lovely day- the weather was cool and though somewhat cloudy, still a great day to paint. I got there at 8 AM to get the early morning light. I chose a view with the soft misty light in the distance and the wind ruffling the waters then along comes a fishing boat-perfect- I put him in fast before he could get out of range
Early Morn- lake Higgins
Working in plein air is the best for your art work as it makes you aware of the limitations of photography and lends one's work a more realistic feel. Some of this is because you have more emotional input since you are there. I love the feeling of lake Higgins and at that time in the morning it is just me and a few fishermen plus the occasional duck or goose swimming by.

The group  usually paint with Triad Outdoor Painters are having an exhibit at the Center for Creative Leadership and from the work I saw arriving, it's going to be a fabulous show. The opening is on friday Aug 23 from 5 to 7 so please try and come if you are in the vicinity.

As you know from my last post I have been teaching a portrait session- We have focused on painting, color and plane changes during this session. Since a couple of my students didn't show up I was able to do a study of the model. What a great model- he has great bone structure and wonderful color in his face. It was a joy to be able to do this- just as much fun as the plein air painting was on thursday.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Portraits- structure

 It has been a while since my last post. I- was hoping to do more work on my still-life but I have been getting ready for my 4-week portrait session and it has taken a lot of my time, so I think I will say a word or two about the way to go about starting a portrait from life or even a photo. Actually doing a still-life is great structure study for doing portraiture.

It is a good idea to consider structure whether you are a well-established portrait painter or just starting out. The skull is a good place to start. if you have access to a good reproduction than by all means, draw it in charcoal or paint it. I personally like to do periodic studies of different views of the skull
skull study-3/4 view

I have a friend who leant me his skull for a week so I did two studies- here is one of them. In a study like this- it makes you realize how large the eye sockets are and that your whole eye fits in it.
Notice- that the eye sockets take up a large part of the face. One actually sees a lot of the skull in a portrait: the forehead, the cheekbones and the chin area to mention the more obvious ones.

so when one is starting a portrait you want to keep this structure in mind. Here is my friend Jean who modeled for my last portrait class. Notice - I started with raw umber and followed the lines of structure as much as possible. I always start with the darks.

In my next post I will review proportions and show you the next stage of the portrait.
Jean- raw umber underpainting