Friday, March 14, 2008


This is another Tuesday night life painting. I really had a hard time with this one, but I think I nailed it. After the initial washes I completely lost the drawing. This has a lot to do with the lighting in the studio where I was working. If you are far enough back, and I tend to be since I don't usually get there early enough, you are outside the well lit area and it is sometimes hard to see what you are doing.
The model was not of course a Queen but my treatment of the pose gave her a regal arrogant attitude. This is what I find so interesting about figure drawing. 
There is another painter who, on one of my first nights did a painting of the young man posing. If you looked at the model you saw a guy sitting in a chair; looking at the painting you saw a self assured, confident young man (a good likeness of the model, in other words not a completely different person) regarding the world around him with a slight sense of  indulgent humor. This is what that painter saw in the pose. Was this a conscious decision? In his case I do not know. In my case I do know that I tried faithfully to render the model in the pose. It was at the end that I discovered that I had conveyed a certain attitude that the sitter may not have embodied. Is this intentional at a subconscious level or accidental? Is it a result of taking something in the pose and pushing it and arriving a logical but not necessarily anticipated destination.
Charles Reid did a painting in oil of two figures. He had started out painting a young women but as he was working he felt something was missing and literally grabbed a man off the street and added him to the painting, entitling it Friends. Even though these people were complete strangers there was an attitude about the portrait which led him to give it that title.   

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