Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Struggles

Oh yeah, I've been here before. The Struggles. It is part of the cycle is it not? I finished the charcoal drawing of my husband. As soon as I sprayed the fixative my darling dearest said to me, " I didn't want to mention this before but..." Now, in no way do I feel it is his responsibility to bring up any issues he sees in my drawing, even though I asked him to. Sometimes it is easier for someone other than yourself to spot things that can be off. I would have loved it if he had said that before I sprayed the fixative! None of this changes the fact that my proportions were just a teeny bit off. Not much, but that is all it takes. It isn't a bad drawing but the proportions being a line width off reminds me what our teacher always was saying. "Ask questions!"
I have committed myself to being honest in this blog, sharing not only the triumphs but the trials too. I will be honest here now, there was a point in the drawing process that something was nagging at me that it didn't quite look right. Now I know, without a teacher to point that out to me, that is my cue to stop, ask questions, look at the whole and the relationships,  and figure out what is wrong before preceding. Lesson learned (I hope!).
On to the next task. I set up a simple still life for a color study. It is my first one and I am doing it on my own. Not exactly sure what I am doing but I am taking a deep breath, relaxing, and having fun with it. After all, it isn't like I am having to perform surgery on someone! Here is the set up and about two hours into the grisaille.
Kind of hard to see the top of the bowl in the painting so it looks squished in the photo. I also learned I shouldn't start a grisaille when I don't have a good chunk of time to work on it. This is an open grisaille. It dried surprisingly fast so I will have to move to a closed grisaille before I start in with color. The lighting washes out the nice bright colors in the set up but the picture gives the general idea.
I also continue to squeeze in a straight color study when I can. This allows me to play with the paint and see how the colors interact. Here is shot of another color study, mixing with burnt umber on the top two and raw sienna on the bottom row.
I am starting out with quite a large palette of colors. I know there are different views on how to do this, some prefer to start out with a limited palette. Personally, I love color and while I admire many  paintings made with a limited palette, I am usually not completely satisfied with them. Eventually, with time and experience,  I will settle on a palette that works for me.
Today I went to the life drawing session at the art center in town. I am learning how to utilize the session to meet my own learning needs, which is a good thing as I was getting frustrated with the way the session was working.
This week I will be turning some of my attention to working on The Sketchbook Project. I have a bit of an outline but I need to get going on that. I will have more on that in a later post. I should have started laying in the color by the next post and will hopefully have some progress to show on that.
The learning continues!
I will leave you with a final picture of my studio assistant with her nose on one of the books I was reading during my break.

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