Inspiration. Everything for figure painting.

IMG_6592Who knows why some people inspire us to paint well and others don’t? The longer I paint, the more I suspect that it is a combination of a great pose and also my own personal level of intrigue with the model. I painted two paintings on this day. In the morning, I didn’t paint well at all, but in the afternoon … like a happy pill, the antidote appeared. One of my all-time favorite models was booked for the afternoon session. I find her super intelligent; a great combination of smart, thoughtful and nice. Big plus? She holds really still. And then this painting happened without much struggle. Pleased with it overall, but might do a couple tweaks; haven’t decided yet. Alas, no camera ever makes a painting look nearly as good as it does in real life, and Photoshop is woefully inadequate for helping. The contrast is always too much, no matter how you fiddle with it. The human eye is so much better than a camera. 18×14, oil on canvas. Can’t wait until she comes back!

WIP. Value challenge. 

img_4705-2Struggled with this session. Model’s skin, her dress, and the cover on her chair were all similar tones and values. Plus she was sick and kept saying she might hurl, which was distracting to the big sister side of me, as I ran round trying to get her mints, Coke and a bucket in case she lost her cookies. Other challenges:  room was hotter than hell and glare on my palette made it hard to tell what I was mixing. The beauty of painting live, I guess. First world problems. Still, one of my favorite models and the painting does look better than the photo was able to capture. This model reminds me of Ophelia, an idea which I tried to incorporate into the painting conceptually. Looking forward to refining this study further. 11×14, oil on linen. Painted at the Scarab Club of Detroit. 2 hours. 

Back to painting. Finally. 

Forced to take a couple months off due to that all-encompassing life drain known as moving. I’m a bit rusty, but happy to be getting back to what matters: painting. Great pose yesterday but difficult because lighting sources were not well controlled and she was lit all over. Still, there are things about it I like. 12×16, oil on linen. 

Yesterday’s output

Trying to share the journey as honestly as possible. That includes paintings that are not always the best I can do. Yesterday, we had two models who moved a lot. I don’t quite have the skill level to compensate for that. Yet. Something to work on. Still, I think the costumed one (14×11) is a decent start and I rather like the nude (12×9). Both oil on linen. 

Just. Keep. Painting. (Today’s output)

Oftentimes, I do better when I put less pressure on myself and start a painting with a “whatever happens is okay” attitude. That happened today because I had 6 hours on this pose, double the usual time. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to counter the red, just couldn’t deal with another red and green painting today. So I went for the grey and burnt umber. Great model today; it isn’t easy to hold the same pose for six hours. Untitled, as of yet. 14 x 11, oil on linen.

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Just. Keep. Painting. (I.e., today’s output)

It’s important to paint a lot. Some studies I throw in a drawer forever; others I finish later. Working at it is what matters most, not the result. I will likely finish these, though the nude will be hard since there’s no reference photo. There rarely is for nudes. Most models, understandably, do not allow photos for nude sessions. Great model today; it makes all the difference. I do not envision taking these paintings much tighter; I rather like them the way they are.

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She was wearing a boa, which I eliminated. Notes to self: Must work on that arm a bit more. Maybe lengthen the dress?

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The contrite painter

Been a little lax in recent months on posting paintings. Here’s a few recent ones I’ve liked. Not sure I have much insight, other than I feel like I’m breaking into a new level. Special thanks to Professor Erin Scott, who’s helped me to think better and triple-dog-dared me on occasion.