Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Class

Even though I didn't get any sleep last night, I decided to go to my art class. It was the last class with the model posing. After ever single class with the model, I was amazed at how different it is painting with her instead of my reference photos. I know that I've been taking poor photographs but you never really realize just how bad they are until you're back in front of the live person.

There are still quite a few subtle problems. There's something wrong with the eye that I can't quite make out. There's also some problems in the mouth area. Unfortunately I don't really know what's wrong all I know is that something is wrong. I'm very happy with the painting from the neck down though. The dress is wonderful. The shadowed flesh of the back is also wonderful. I hadn't put the small shadow that fell between the shoulder blades before and she was starting to look humpbacked. The addition of that small shadow has made her appear slimmer. I'm also very happy with the hair as well. My teacher was pointing out that something was wrong with the ear's tone but, actually, I don't really see anything really wrong with it. I don't want it to really stand out.

My teacher was pointing out my lack of color in my mid-tones and my over usage of brown in the shadows without enriching the flesh tone that was making the painting appear not really dull and lifeless. I spent a lot of time correcting the flesh tones and enriching the shadows. The eye was giving me a great deal of trouble. She almost looks startled now.

I'm not sure whether or not I'll continue with it or not. I guess it depends on how well I can get the reference photos to come up on my laptop. One of the websites I've been reading mentioned that they always paint from a monitor when they use digital reference photos. And the explanation was very valid. Printing it is sort of like making a copy of a copy. You're becoming even one more degree removed from the best subject which is life. So instead of printing my reference photos I'm going to start dragging my laptop into my studio. If the photos work out well, I may continue with the minor corrections.

Tomorrow, I also plan on cleaning and organizing my studio. Again, a website I read said that a cluttered and chaotic space is not conducive to creativity. And of course, it seems very obvious, and it's very correct. I really want to organize it better and get rid of some things that don't belong there. I also have a decent sized collection of bottles and other still life subjects. They need to be put into one spot together. Right now they're all over the place. I also think I need to rearrange the studio so that I can more easily step back from my easel and so that I'm standing far enough away from my subject so that the lighting for my canvas and palette isn't interfering the subject's lighting. It's a very small room though so I'm not sure how much wiggle room I'll have.

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