Saturday, September 26, 2009

Winter Day

Silverpoint on a warm light gray toned paper
18 x 14

I may have mislead you. Unlike a politician this was not my intent. I have always said that silverpoint was good for smaller pieces, but couldn't really hold up for something bigger. It just can't produce the dark darks needed to be noticed from across the room. I may have to rethink that. After looking at some of Dennis Martin's work I noticed that many of them are pretty big, much bigger than I had expected. So I took a shot and tried something bigger myself. Now this is not a huge drawing by any means, but it's about twice what I'm used to. It seems to hold up pretty well both near and from across the room, at least the size of my rooms. So bigger may be better.

On the downside it takes forever. The earlier parts had already started to tarnish by the time the last lines were added. I started this back in May or maybe early June and just finished it up a couple weeks ago. I didn't work nonstop on this though. There were quite a few weeks that it didn't get touched at all actually so it's hard to guess exactly how long it really took to finish. It certainly felt like a long time. Then again, it was nice to have something to go back and chew on.

Enough about that. What I was trying to do here was show how nice it is to curl up with a book when the snow in laying on the fields, the warmth of the figure against the cold of the landscape. Besides I loved the light. I hope I got somewhere close to the feel of it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Didn't mean to be gone that long guys, sorry. It's been a long and rather interesting summer. Overall not that great but there were flashes that kept me wanting to see what would happen next. It looks like that the way it will be for a while to come too. At least now I'm used to it. On to the pictures, that's what you're here for.

I've done virtually no painting or drawing at all in the last few months so this had the potential for complete disaster. I'd wanted to do this piece for quite a while, but something always seemed to come up and push this to the back burner. Instead of going right to the finished picture I thought you might like to see a couple of the studies that I do beforehand. There's a lot of stuff done that nobody will ever see, but are nevertheless important to the process. This is where all the drawing issues get worked out. Before I start the final piece I have a pretty good idea of exactly where I'm going.

pencil heightened with white
22 x 15

So here's the final drawing of the figure. If it wasn't right there would be no reason to go any further so it was pretty obvious that I needed to spend as much time here as necessary. Besides I like to draw, this was the fun part.

15 x 11

So now that I've got a figure I need to put her in a landscape or some kind of environment. An excuse to go for a walk in the woods, most excellent. Not the best watercolor I've ever done, but it serves the purpose. She should fit in there nicely. It's really best compositionally to do this all at once working with basically abstract shapes and then adapting the shapes to figure and surroundings. Sometimes you get lucky though and this way will work out all right. Let's put it together and see what I've got.

30 x 22

This is what I thought would be the final piece. I'm not so sure though so this could turn out to be another study. There's some good points but I think there are parts that I could and should do better. And this is why it is best compositionally to work on the whole piece at once instead of putting together pieces. On this particular painting there is no deadline and no one is dying to see it (as far as I know) so why not keep going and do it right.

22 x 15ish

This is a detail of the previous piece and makes a pretty good image on its own. Right now I'm leaning toward cropping it down and salvaging this part and later going back and repainting the whole piece, maybe an oil next time.

Edit: I've switched out the last two images with ones that are closer to actual in color at least. Images seem to come out about a step lighter here than anywhere else. Anybody else have that problem?