This week’s work on Karl Gnass’ lessons at NMA REALLY paying off. I’m actually happy with my improvement here!
10 minute pose, charcoal on newsprint 18×24.
She’s only been modeling a couple months but she’s really good. I feel I captured this pose well. We had some good melancholy tunes playing and she just kind of drifted off in thought.
I was actually cool with this piece at 10 minutes, it was even more ethereal. I may go back and soften it up a bit more.
20 minute pose, charcoal on bristol 18×24.
More first painting this week. Got pretty bogged down, starting with a clean palette (mix mix mix) and complex forms. Focus was mostly on the nose and getting some more proper contrast in that area. Also fixed the eyebrow and sketched in the forehead.
This model had an amazing shoulder girdle. Great clavicles, scapulas, the whole thing was just so well defined. I wasn’t drawing great, so for the last 15 minutes I had the instructor move the light to rake across her back and just did a straight tonal study.
She ended up kinda manly, mostly because I didn’t have time to work on the shadow side at all and it got broad on top.
But I do kinda like this one, imperfect as it is!
Charcoal on charcoal-toned bristol, 18×24.
Had a pretty successful night. Fixed the drawing for the right side of the head, had to widen things out by almost an inch, but the proportions are correct now. Better to fix something immediately, no matter that it’s a lot of effort. Then I focused on first painting the shadows. Since his right cheek and eye were mostly framed by shadows, and I needed to mix some halftones to blend the shadow edge into, I also first painted the cheek and eye there. All in all, quite a bit of paint was put down last night!
Part of my ability to get right into painting was my awesome pochade box. Most of my mixes from last week were still workable, so I was able to start painting almost immediately. Here’s the state of the palette after last night’s session:
10 minute study. Charcoal on newsprint, 18×24.
20 minute study. Charcoal on bristol paper, 18×24.
Values underpainting for Judith. Just titanium white and burnt umber, thinned with OMS.
I figured it was about time to start a master copy at home to augment my schoolwork. I’m going to zoom in on a section of a Caravaggio. Oil on canvas, 11×14.
Starting the first painting with the hand, chin and mouth. Basically just putting in the planar changes and adding a vibrant color to build on later. I once again put my faith in my instructor, because to me it looked garishly bright. After watching her paint for a while, though, and picking her brain for a bit, I was able to get it to start coming together. It’s a bit different than the previous portraits and I love how she continues to push me with each project.
Worked on a charcoal-toned paper, which was nice. As it was with still life, I struggle to finish a drawing in the allotted time, but I’m becoming more comfortable with where to prioritize. Not very stoked with any of the drawings this week, and my gestures were crap. However, still getting in good practice and trying new things. Overall a win, since a decent finished drawing is only a bonus (posting rough unfinished stuff never gets easier!).
Both of these are the usual charcoal on a charcoal-toned bristol paper, 18×24.