Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday Night Portrait

Here is the latest portrait from the Tuesday night group at my art club in Toronto; the Don Valley Art Club. Still from last week so I am still behind. I think I have captured something in this portrait. The sitter was an older man, another member of the club and I think that is a feeling of nostalgia in this painting. I decided even before I was finished to call it "Looking Back."

In a previous post I talked (in reference to another artist in the group) of his ability to take a sitter who is perhaps in a "neutral" pose and in their portrait conveying a sense of character or personality which they bring to or "impose" upon the sitter. Sometimes, as in this case, it "just happens." Is this unconscious or accidental? Do better artists than I do it intentionally? I am sure they do and I am hoping that with practice and experience I can get to that point.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday Portraits

At the art club that I am involved in Toronto we do a couple of informal portrait sessions a month in which club members sit for the other members for short (25 minute) pose. This painting was from the most recent one that I attended. It is one of three that I did that day and I consider it quite successful. Unfortunately I did it on an old piece of watercolour paper and the sizing had deteriorated or been damaged so that it didn't take the paint properly. Ah well!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday Night Portrait

This is from last Tuesday's drawing session (I have gotten a bit behind lately!) Generally a successful portrait painting. Every once in a while there is a quality about the finished painting that really captures the quality of light on a subject. It is watercolour's most attractive quality even though (for me) it doesn't happen very often.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

October Afternoon

I am very happy with this painting. I think that it has a good composition and quite strong colours. What is interesting is that it is based on a photograph which I took in an area north of Toronto which is slated to become a new airport for the city. This is a mixed use area in which farmland was gradually being turned into suburbia. Because this land was taken over to build an airport and then the process stalled it is full of abandoned suburban homes as well as farms that have either been abandoned or worked by absentee or inhabited until a final decision is made.

I have used these photos before, but since this one was painted to be a different season from that in which the photo was taken, I used it as reference rather than trying to copy it and as a result it seems to be more successful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This is the latest portrait painting from my Tuesday night figure and portrait group. As you can see, the proportions are off. The body is too small for the head. The model was thin with a slight build and I may have been too concerned with that. This kind of problem is quite common when painting from life within a limited time and often hard to detect until "finished." As far as I am concerned this is a learning process; an attempt to get more skilled in capturing the likeness, attitude, character, etc. If I get a good one I am happy, but a bad one doesn't bother me much. They can all be frustrating and difficult, both good and bad!

My solution here is "creative cropping" which I look at as a last resort because it is kind of composing the picture at the end, rather than at the beginning.