Sunday, October 31, 2010

Digging In

Things are starting to get settled and I am starting to dig in to work. This month of October I have been working on a charcoal drawing of my husband. He has been a great model, very patient, and seems to know how to get right back into the pose. The drawing is nearly finished. I still have to adjust that background and do any final adjustment to the drawing to balance it all out. I am not putting the full drawing here which is revealing enough. For some reason it seems a bit different to post a full nude drawing of my husband verses a model that was hired. I guess it just feels a bit too personal. Anyway, here is the drawing. I found it a bit challenging to get a good picture that didn't make it look washed out. Another thing I have to work on!
This is the first charcoal drawing I have done on my own. I have my final student charcoal drawing hanging on the wall. I find it helps me to remember what I need to be doing and looking for.  Every drawing has been a bit better than the last, which is encouraging. This one has some improvements, it is smoother, the transitions are better and I have been carefully considered my edges. Still have plenty of room for improvement never fear!
I have also been playing with oil paint. Since I was supposed to be going to school for another three years, we hadn't started in with painting with color, concentrating on drawing instead. I feel this is a really good way to go as drawing is the foundation for painting in realism. Unfortunately, that means I have to learn on my own at the moment. The first step is to get the colors out, get them on the palette, and start playing with them. I will be setting up a color still life this week but in the meantime, I have been making color charts. I don't have to think too much, just play with the color and get a feel for the paint and how it works. I have also been trying out a few different brushes. My favorite brush, by a long shot so far, is a Silver-Black Pearl synthetic. It holds a nice amount of paint and has the right amount of stiffness and spring. Here is the first color chart. It is not as tidy as the other ones will be. The original tube colors are in the top row of squares with the 3 rows beneath being mixed with increasing amounts of the same color throughout. In this chart it is Burnt Sienna (first color on the top left).
The colors that don't have mixtures under them are either one of a kind (such as Gamblin's Torrit Grey) or colors already on the chart but are different paint brands. I am trying out one or two different paint brands too.
As may be deduced, I am in the experimental beginning stage. I also mixed a few colors together at random to see what I would get and how they behaved. That is what is in the little square piece up top.
It looks pretty in person. I am already learning a lot just by doing such a simple exercise.
Next week I will be finishing up the charcoal drawing, working on still life in color, pencil drawing, and sketching. Plenty to keep me busy learning.
Happy Halloween and Samhain blessings.

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