The composition on this one was difficult. I wanted to position the model and the pattern specifically and the reference material was of different scales. This required a fairly large (20×16) rendering so I could see if it worked.
I was able to work it out! I thought the drawing was strong enough to warrant a larger painting than the originally intended 20×16 size. I purchased a 30×24 canvas yesterday. It’s still a 5×4 ratio, so the composition should be exactly the same. I got the canvas for a good price, and toned it up last night.
It’s scary working that big. But this summer, I’ve pushed myself and made improvements in my work. And I think I can do it.
Maybe I should start both the 20×16 and the bigger canvas to be sure. That just occurred to me. It’s gotta be almost just as easy to do 2. And I can take risks the smaller one. Hmmmm!!!
image (c) 2017 AMDietrich
I think I like this one, it’s growing on me already! Not finished yet though… but been in the works for a while with thumbnails and studies. I deviated from my origin plan a little bit. But at least I was better prepared to change things due to having done the studies.
image (c) 2017 AMDietrich
For my last pastel class, I decided to copy something from my Manet book. I picked this one because of the strong composition.
I practiced layering and got to see how Manet played with value. There was actually surprisingly little color actually in this. He was efficient with his use of it.
Unfortunately I bumped this against some fabric in the car. So it’s ruined. But I learned from the exercise and I photographed it beforehand so not all is lost.
I was at the store and, due to my interest in anatomy, couldn’t resist this little semi-articulated skeleton. I’ve been looking for anatomical models and plaster casts, but I thought this could be interesting and I had a coupon.
Here’s my first drawing of the skeleton. I know there are lots of areas for improvement… and boy the oscoxa was hard!
Plus, the model has no patella. It’s hardly anatomically accurate, but i think it’s a really good exercise 🙂
And here’s the drawing with the model… pretty funny, huh?!
I was supposed to be painting, but this was fun!
This is Catherine in Green. 28×22 oil on canvas.
This is the fourth piece from my current series which focuses on the female nude and richly colored monochromatic backgrounds. The female figures in this series are seated in poses that demonstrate their strength and empowerment. I’m calling the series “Stripped Down” because I’ve taken everything except the figure, light and space out of the pieces.
This format isolates the figure so that the full force of the image comes through. The image of the female nude is very powerful in terms of content. (I have found this to be even more true than I recognized before beginning this series.)
So often in today’s society the female figure is portrayed almost as if women’s beauty exists for others. The figures I’m portraying are beautiful, certainly, but on their own terms. We may appreciate their beauty and strength, but it belongs to them.
image (c) 2017 AMDietrich
I’ve been taking a pastel class on Monday mornings in August. I’ve always been a mess with pastel, but I lucked into a good set. I’ve been told that using poor quality pastels was a recipe for failure, but found the entry cost of a good set prohibitive. So I let the idea go. But as a painter, there is a big disconnect between black and white drawings and moving to full color. I thought pastels could help bridge the gap.
Anyway, after acquiring the set, I thought I should enroll in a few classes to get started. The instructor, Chris Seubert, is very nice and understands my goals.
I’m still getting used to the material, but I was finally able to get it to create some form this week. We had small white still life set up and we’re working warm and cool variations along with value.
The set up was a cast of the lips of David, an egg and an upside down bowl. There was also a pitcher, but I left it out for the composition and to save time since this was a class exercise.
Here it is still taped to the board.
Next week is my last class. I’m planning on doing a color copy of a portrait or figure to practice color manipulation.
Self portraits can be quite amusing! I’m really enjoying having this one around.
I did this oil sketch this morning from the mirror in my tiny studio. There was cool light coming from the open window on one side and warm light from the other. I thought that was an interesting challenge because I’m working a lot with warm and cool right now.
We think it’s funny when one of our pets has a serious expression but is obviously content. We say, “This IS my happy face.” Well, this IS my painting painting face. I’m not sad, just totally concentrating on line, stucture, tone and color.
I just started dropping in a Prussian green wash over the warm ground under my grisaille. I was surprised at how the warm green wash made the grisaille appear. The warm ground is working. There will still be a couple of layers of color after this.
I’m working a bit slowly lately. It doesn’t look like I’ll finish 7 pieces in the series before fall starts. I’m going to push myself to complete 5 though.
8/22 Here it is with a color layer on top of the grisaille. I still think she needs a bit more red tone in her skin particularly on the bottom half. I may do more there than on top in the next color painting. But it is almost done. It’ll probably be finished in the next few days depending on my other commitments…
These were produced during the Lou’s Woolley workshop I attended this weekend. It was a great experience.