Tuesday, 17 May 2011 at 20:34
Isles - Art from Tallmadge Little League Teammates
About a year or so ago I was connecting to an old friend of mine from our shared hometown of Tallmadge Ohio. Marty and I played on Tallmadge’s first Little League Team to play in the State of Ohio tournament. Although we lost to a big, tough Youngstown Austin town team, we generated considerable noise in the local Akron paper. We were like media stars for a couple months. Both Marty and I will never forget it.
We recently connected through facebook. Marty went to Princeton and currently runs a nonprofit with his wife called Isles. They have been running this great organization who’s mission is to foster self-reliant families in healthy, sustainable communities or 30 years.
Marty saw my Studio website and sought me out to create the 30th year commemorative poster for Isles. The theme for the 30th is “Empowerment Takes Root”. That was my direction as well as the 4 core areas that Isles focusses on: building strength is assets and wealth, green sustainable growth initiatives, building communities, and education. I’ll show, in another post, how, in a short time line, I was able to create an oil glaze painting look with a touch of a digital feel, to the final poster design.
Friday, 06 May 2011 at 14:26
Finally Finished Portrait
I was finally able to finished the family portrait I began a while ago reported on this blog. In between I developed a brand identity, assets, and a usage guideline, created art for a poster for a not for profit, created spot illustrations for a clean energy initiative agencies social media communications and a bunch of other projects. Its good to get busy!
I tried to keep the under painting and some of the pencil lines visible in the finished piece. One of the things I am always interested in is the change of pace within a painting or drawing — finish contrasted with unfinished. — tightly rendered areas against loose under painting and hand drawn line. It makes for evident of the hand done or human touch. — very critical in all of my work. I really like the young boy’s face in terms of painting fluidity. I like the glow of the young girl’s portrait as well. Its tough doing 4 people and a dog and getting them a right.
Monday, 14 March 2011 at 21:10
Family Portrait – Underpainting
Now that I feel confident in knowing each face, each person, by spending time with their individual image, face, countenance, I can begin to consider the imaginary scene I am about to put together. I say imaginary. I’m sure many would feel this was simply copying a photo bit nothing could be further from the truth. Just as say Vermeer, Maxfield Parrish, of even Degas has used photography as a tool for a piece of the greater vision; I follow in that grand tradition of picture making. Once the composition and drawing have been established. I now get to step into the world of atmosphere, color, and texture. I have assembled, though visual reference, an articulation of each part of the overall image. Now I need to consider light sources and angles. I did think of this as I lit the family during the photo session, with window light to the right and a hot light to the left.
I start the grisaille with a warm Burt sienna and lamp black. I use a little Windsor green behind the couch for the plant plus to create a little cool area. I work the color as I thin out the painting with turps. I use brushed rags paper towel etc. to get the surface and tone right. It dies relatively quickly so I have to work fast. After the underpainting is established, I add turps to a clean brush and paint, this time touching the areas of form struck by light. I let it set up a minute then lift it with a rag. It like painting in reverse. This is like sculpture or creating a relief. The form shape and solidity and begin to take form. It rises up out of the flatness of the underpainintg. In the end the entire painting will be complete in a monochromatic way.
Sunday, 06 March 2011 at 13:57
Family Portrait – The Prep
I drawn and redrawn the faces or countenances of each of the family members…including the dog. Painting and drawing is for me the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. To try to capture something so fleeting in a stroke or in a little detail as spirit, light moment really keep me so fascinated it’s hard to describe. It probably cannot be described by words. As I work and rework the drawings I continue to build the vision of the image in my mind. I move from reference to personal vision. At the same time I prepare the physical elements that I will have to contend with to make some kind of magic happen. Touch the sky
I have purchased cradled hardwood panels that are really nicely put together. I would love to get into making the panels and frames, for that matter, but for now I can only afford the time and money to create the painting and drawings and hopefully prints at this point.
I get the panels un-finished. I like to create my own gessoed surface, particularly after I have worked up the drawing. I can make the direction of the gesso strokes work with the image. I love surface quality. It pulls me into a painting. I give the panel several coats of gesso, using sort of a dry b
rush approach on the final layers to kick up the ridges in the gesso. Once that dries, I am ready to begin to work up the under-drawing for the painting.
I can work and rework this part as it establishes the overall design or composition of the painting as well as provides an opportunity to take all the visual mental
information I have logged in my brain and create a final more poetic version of the drawing. I can focus more on the emotive quality of the shapes as I have worked out many of the issues of convincing turning of form, proportion, balance and dare I say, good drawing. I love when a painting is not only stunning in terms of color and tactile application, but exhibits strong drawing fundamentals and a great understanding of light quality and expression.
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