May 28, 2012

Portraits in Oils - Week 2 - FRIDAY

 We began the day slowly. I think the reluctance to start stems from a few areas, fatigue, was a major one, but mostly we didn't want it to end. We stood around as Martinho covered glazes, with a video from a surly guy from Brooklyn telling it exactly how it is, quite refreshing. A glaze is just thinned down paint used to tweak the tone if needed a the end.*

*With this style of painting that glazing is unecessary if you did it right the first time,  I need to make an additional clause:  VERMEER AMENDMENT! (glazing over a Grisaille under painting method.)

 I oiled in and then decided to rework the girls face because I like torturing myself. Mainly I felt the need to assert that I had in fact learned to understand the value system and to work with my palette. Plus I wasn't happy with it, I knew I could do better and when you have a pro who can give you feedback it helps, 'cause in the studio you have no one to help. So though it looks a little messy, I went back to the first stage of controlling the fall of light/big form modelling stage. Her chin area wasn't dark enough before and it was throwing off the whole relationship between values. This helped solidify some of what I had learned throughout the workshop.
Here are some examples of Martinho's work. The top is a copy he made from one of his teachers pieces. He has not only fantastic drawing skills to get the details and proportions right but also superb control of the subtlety of values and colour. That is a skill in my craft that I badly desire. In the bottom piece if you start at the feet you can see the beginning stages of the work, as you follow up the leg to the thigh you pass the dead coloring stage and get to the big form modelling stage. As you travel up the light side of the ribs and arm you see masterfully finished work, and for me, my jaw drops the the beauty in which he subtly renders the figure to perfection.
At the lunch break, I helped another participant, Darryl, with his HD camera. After the lunchbreak, We we introduced to the theory of colour for broken colur backgrounds. This is where if you look from a distance the background appears to be say greenish, but as you get close you realize those greens are mixed in your eye and in fact, it is made up of a variety of other colours. first there is th movement of tone in the background, from low to high value. With each of those colours you then mix a breakdown of each with low and high chroma. Green is made up of yellow and blue so you mix a yellow and blue of high and low chroma for each value that will go on the canvas. It may be equal to a day of work, but the effect is quite stunning.
 I revisited the work from the first week to play with the background. This piece was a learning lesson and will most likely be abandoned unless I really feel like making it into something, I hung it in my studio as a reminder. I barely got the legs to second stage painting but you can really see how this method lends itself to creating realistic looking figures, for me the legs seem to pop. Now I need to keep working on my craft and develop and loose sensitivity to applying the paint subtly like the masters.
 Here is a scene from the workshop, the craziness of an arts studio while we are in it creating. Now it site empty. The other participants were a joy, through the trials and tribulations. I kept thinking that this is what art school should have been like, the work ethic and the challenges making ti worth while to show up daily. Like the studios for training the masters back in the day. I learned so much in so little time. It renewed my vigor to attain artistic mastery. I asked myself, why hadn't I done this so long ago?!
Here are me and my half Portugeuse bretheren and workshop Instructor Martinho on the last day. Teh Bob Ross shirt is definitely tongue and cheek when you know the level of work and quality we hope to attain. It cant be done watching a half of an hour PBS TV program. I want to impart why this pursuit toward beauty matters to me so much. I feel vigorously renewed after this training, my goals in life redefined:

Beauty is my muse. 
It is the essential life blood of my existence.
I am an artist. 
I make beautiful things to look at. 
The job of the artist is to uplift the soul.
I must become the best at my craft so that I can do this.
If you see beauty in everything your soul is set free.
This brings me happiness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The job of the artist is to raise consciousness; not necessarily uplift.

You succeed.