To contact Kat drop her a line at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Frustrations in Figure Painting

It's the end of the third week of class today. Watercolor figure studies is going along pretty well even if it is only Lizzie and I since it is the Summer. Summer classes are so nice, no rowdy freshman mucking about the halls or bouts of musical chairs in the computer lab in order to use the scanners or computers.

On the other hand, there is the massive crowd of cubs fans and foodies on the trains now. O well, you win some you lose some.

This was done last Thursday in class. Liz and I both had a bit of a cold but she decided not to come in on that day, so instead of a critique of our work I got to tinker about with Mona, our instructor's mannequin. Wasn't doing anything in particular here aside from filling in time....she's fun to paint though and this is my second time with her.

The two pieces above were done on Monday this week. We have an hour per piece and these are supposed to be done relatively quick, with the initial drawing laid down in no more than ten minutes. Barb is our model, a wonderful woman to work with who has been modeling at the academy for about thirty years now.

I will say that I struggle a lot to free up my form. I like to render and get down to the details, so staying loose is difficult for me.

Tuesday went a little bit better. Barb had on a dark robe which was rather difficult to paint since it didn't receive the lighting very well. I really enjoy the leg and skin form of the torso on the second piece. I was having a hard time, since adding in a lot of colors can fool you into thinking you have value and tone in your work, which I felt was very much the case in these exercises.

Ah yes. Liz was sick again on Wednesday and I had come in to class about 15 minutes late after missing my train. So I was only able to work on one piece as opposed to two. I really like some of the areas I worked on in this piece but again, was told that I am not letting myself get loose. And it wasn't too smart to add in the background, it is too eye grabbing as opposed to laying in a one color backdrop.

I greatly enjoy the first piece I did this morning. I finally was able to loosen up a bit. I think it helped to have a more solid drawing to hand the paint off of. Tom Herzberg is my instructor and he gave me a lot of advice, even admitted that he himself struggles with painting from a living figure as he is having us do now.

So, what did I learn this week? Stop over thinking my process and just put the brush to paper. Treat studies as that, or as quick color comps. And don't be afraid of saturation. Can't have lights without a dark.

No comments: