Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning to Paint

Sometimes I take side excursions into the world of art, not just crafting. Not that crafting is just crafting - obviously I have a lot of respect for it, when my tongue isn't in my cheek. (Like art, there is good crafting and bad crafting, and which is which can depend on something as trivial as blood sugar levels. Let's just say that short of something being unqualifiedly bad - such as a sweater out of gauge with one sleeve a foot longer than the other - you know, what non-knitters notoriously think homemade knits are like - it's really just a matter of preference.) But my craftiness stems from my artsiness, rather than vice versa, so on occasion, seemingly out of the blue, I will do a post like this about, say, oil painting. I haven't really finished any of them, except this one. (However, I did just recover my old self portrait, which I thought I had lost. Now I can ponder finishing it.)

I took an oil figure painting class during the Fall at Fleisher, but I only managed to complete one of the two paintings we did there. A live model was present, and I took pictures of my painting at each break to track my progress. Taking photos gives me a perspective on what I'm doing. Sometimes I get ideas from them, and other times (most of the time) it allows me to see where the painting is not quite right. Such as with the eye on the left side of the drawing below.
I like the shadow
The instructor wanted us to heavily pencil in our portrait before painting. We spent the entire first class just drawing. I managed to break my pencil, which just goes to show that maybe I should lay off the caffeine.
I should have stopped at the final break instead of forging ahead, because when I was done it was like a gob of graphite.
The left eye is still a problem
Then we worked on the background. I got the background done rather quickly so I moved onto flesh tones. Which I totally didn't know how to blend. I'm largely self-taught, so I've managed to get this far with art without understanding a lot of basics that are covered in remedial art classes.

The model really did have hair this color. And the left eye continued to be a problem, but I finally got it tamed somewhat in the final class.
Bad photo, I know.
The final painting. I was pretty happy with it, even though I took slipshod photos of it. I have it hanging on my wall, where I swear it looks better than this.

The left eye was still a bit of a problem
Hopefully the above detail shows the painting to better effect. It's not the Mona Lisa, but I don't think it has one sleeve a foot too long, either.


arianna said...

Whatever, I think it's gorgeous!! And seeing the process is fascinating, too. I *wish* I had half the talent you do at the easel.

Praxis said...