Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tools for Conceptualizing Form

Okay, a quick post this week. These are a couple of diagrams I sketched out a little while ago that depict the spatial geometry I imagine before rendering form. I will refer back to these diagrams and elaborate on them when I get to various stages of preparing for my next painting. With these basic relationships I can hopefully establish consistent light effects between the many components of the scene and the light source. I can also plot geometrically where all the terminators and cast shadows are and use that as an interpretive tool when I get to modeling from life. These relationships also help in discerning between diffuse reflection and specular reflection. Conceptualizing these relationships, compared to mere value/shape copying, helps me avoid logically inconsistent patterns that emerge in a shifting live model.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Lessons Learned

I wanted to title this post, "A Failed Start" but opted for the more optimistic title seen above. What began as preparation for a large multi-figure painting about the Lotus Eater episode in the Odyssey became a gradual admission of my inability to pull it off...At least right now. I began last summer with a couple of compositional posters out of my head. I advanced to figure drawing with a few models, rotating out various poses and completing a new compositional sketch from the selected poses. What became obvious was the enormous cost involved in continuing the pre-production of this painting and the model cost in doing a 5 figure painting from life. I may revisit the project in the future with appropriate resources but for now I'm working on a different 2 figure painting that in the end seems hardly less complicated than this one. I do feel like this project, as arrested as its development was, gave me a bit more experience in planning complicated multi-figure compositions. Ultimately this is the kind of thing I want to paint so I don't regret any steps that take me in that direction. Most of the posted drawings were done in the 20-40 minute range (with the exception of 1 or 2). I wanted to have a lot of pose options as I put them all together. When I get done with the painting I'm working on now, I'll post some of the preparatory work with it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whaling Sketches

This week I thought I'd continue with a little more catch up. Over the last several years I did a series of whaling paintings. This was largely inspired by the Mystic Seaport which I live near. Planning for these paintings involved a lot of sketching from my imagination. I built up literally hundreds of little composition thumbnails and illustrations of the various ideas I had. Posting these feels like a good lead-in to the direction I'd like to take the blog. Currently I'm nearing the home stretch on a large 2 figure painting. When that's completed I'm going to begin the process anew by doing compositional sketches for the next painting. I hope to post them here and update throughout the process of developing whatever idea I choose.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Waterstreet Stuff 2004-05

I thought I'd begin with a little catch up. There are some drawings and paintings from my time studying I wanted to share. I never felt comfortable squeezing them into my website but I think they will fit in this format. I began studying at Waterstreet Atelier when I was 23. I ended up studying for about a year and a half. I hope that other students of this painting method have longer to study.
My first year consisted of mostly cast work but during my final 5-6 months I was able to do some figure drawings and a couple paintings.