Friday, July 29, 2011

Sons of Turner Figure Painting Session

On Monday, I went downtown for the first time in two months to do some figure paintings with a few of the other Sons of Turner at MBK Studios. It was really nice to be in Chicago again and see people that I haven't seen in a while, and it was fun getting to paint the figure. I haven't done a lot of figure painting--or figure drawing, for that matter in a long time, but it was a nice change from teapots and cupcakes.

I think I was a little rusty. Getting rusty is never a good thing. But I guess when you paint something that you haven't painted in a while, that happens. Ever since I started working in a looser style, I haven't been painting figures, and so trying to use that style to paint the figure was difficult for me. There was a time when all I drew were people, I still like to draw people, but lately I've been looking at inanimate objects.

My gestures were okay. Certainly not my best, but not my worst either. I started out with paint, then decided I should try just using pencil to get the forms correct. They were more like studies than anything. I guess that's what gestures are anyway.

For the longer paintings, I started out not using micron pens to see if I could get a more fuzzy look.
  This one got a little muddy. I was painting too much, which is what I have been trying to get away from. Still, there are some things that I do like about this painting. I like that I was, for the most part, able to achieve a likeness of his plaid shirt without getting too detailed, I also think some of the shading on the face looks alright. But the pose is a little I drew it. The right arm looks strange and the right foot needs a lot of work. But This was sort of a warm-up. This isn't just my typical way of painting.

My second one was a lot better, in my opinion.
 Maybe it was more successful because of the fact that it is a female form. I am just better at drawing women. I do think I have come a long way just in the past couple of years, though. I used to not be able to draw men at all, but now, I definitely can, I just prefer to draw women. But I like this one, also because I stuck with what I know and that is lightly sketching in pencil, then adding micron pen, then using washes of watercolor. I don't think I over-painted this one. It was difficult because the color of her sweater was an unusual color to mix. I don't even remember exactly what colors I used--probably burnt umber, indigo, maybe even a little but of brilliant purple (yes. purple!) But I definitely think this was my most successful piece of the day.

All in all, it was a good day. I hope the Sons can get together again soon for another painting session.

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