Sunday, 24 July 2011

Master Study - Cabanel

I have been working on this on and off for quite a while now, kinda got fed up with it as its dragged on too long and I havent been altogether happy with the palette but have learned quite a bit doing it. Trying to get it finished  but had to take a step back to go forward on that hand.

The WIP - 20" x 20" Oil on Canvas

The preliminary sketches 

Samson and Delilah - Alexandre Cabanel 1823 – 1889
The original - I cropped out Samson on my version as I didnt much care for his head.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The final tweak

I warmed the face up a bit and then taped it to a wardrobe mirror to take another photo, you cant really see it too well but it has a silvery underglow.  Mylar on mirror..............Mmmmm, maybe.....?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

More Mylar

As I said in the last post I mucked this drawing up by painting on the same side as the graphite and then using liquin on it (I got confused - upside down? inside out? back to front?  I was tired!)  I decided to see what I could do with what remained after all, so referring to the original photo I redrew it and then got the oils paints out.  I went for standard paints rather than oilbars this time as I wanted to use a palette knife.  I'm really liking painting on this material, its smooth and slippery but you can manipulate the paint easily, put it on, take it off etc.  I tried to keep it thin but even so this is a big piece at A2 + and although the oils seem to dry fairly quickly it would be difficult to have many of these sketches lying around waiting to dry.  Anyway I enjoyed messing with it even if she did come out looking a bit like a case for Inspector Morse!   The squared off compositional device was blatantly pinched from the amazing Mr Derek Jones.   What was it Picasso said:  Good artists borrow, great artists steal.

Original drawing from life
Oilbar and liquin largely destroyed the drawing.
Restated and starting to make decisions about where to add the contrast.
After much fiddling, adding and subtracting finally done.  Seaweed girl?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Ingredients - oil, graphite and mylar

The life sessions are finished for a while now so these are from the last few sessions in June and will probably be it now until September.  I've just started doing some experiments on a type of Mylar/drafting film which is basically plastic paper.  Its nice to draw on, very smooth with graphite sticks and easy enough to erase and so I have started to use it in life sessions with a view to being able to further experiment afterwards by adding paint.  I'm just at the very early stages at the moment but I am very interested in using oil paints on this material, I bought a few of the WM Oil bars and liquin to have a play with in addition to my usual paints.  I've come across a few artists who have painted on mylar, some just for sketches and studies but some produce fully finished and large works, most impressively the wonderful work of Alex Kanevsky.  So here are my life drawings plus a few of my experiments using some Paul Cadmus drawings as inspiration.

Pastel pencil on on paper - A2.  Foreshortening challenges are very good practice!

 Graphite on drafting film - A2.  I was actually stood in a great spot, liked this pose a lot.

Several days of consideration later I decided this was all the paint that was needed!  Trying to get the balance between maintaining the freshness of a live drawing and adding some extra interest and finish is going to take some time.  Here I just felt I needed to accentuate the line a little more but without pulling it forward - I think it worked.  Incidentally the paint is on the back of the paper, the translucency has  many options and possibilities.

Graphite on film A2 - really struggled to get going with this but it was ok by the end and I felt it had potential for working on some more afterwards.  However I made a major boo boo when I got the paints out -  I accidentally started on the wrong side and working it with the oil and smudging I lost the drawing. I could re-find it again by working from this photo but more likely I'll just put it down to experience.

Graphite and oil on drafting film cropped A3 - after Cadmus.
 Graphite and oil on drafting film cropped A3 WIP - after Cadmus.  This was actually the first one and I put the the oil on top of the graphite and lost the detail and had to re-state.  Not too bad as its quite small.

 A real quicky just to see what some thicker oil would look like on the paper - the translucence adds some extra brightness and depth but thin layering might be the way to go.