Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11th, 2010 - The Value of Studies

So this morning I had a final and today is actually the last final I take at Bluefield ever again! On saturday I walk! It's been a long time coming and just the thought of it just about brings me to tears!
So anyhow, I decided to draw a closer look at the anatomy surrounding the eye of the elephant for the simple fact that I want to really get the feel and texture of this wonderful creature right!
The other night I started a painting of the elephant - something that has been obsessing the pages of my journal lately. I opted to do a painting from a picture that I took in Asheboro NC at the NC Zoo. I really like the composition and the texture around the eye - SO POWERFUL LOOKING!!!!
For the value of doing mulitple studies over and over again and even if they seem repetitve is to help you - the artist - to really get into the essence of the subject matter. Constantine Brancusi was notorious for this - he spent a whole life time studying the bird and his end result was Bird in Space and Bird in Flight - he truly captured the essence of the bird! It wasn't over night and he never gave up. My belief is that if you want to really capture a subject regardless of your style you have to observe and study as much as you can - you have to be obsessed!
So how does the painting look?
Well, so far so good! Above is the first step, I do a semi-detailed sketch or at least enough to get the important structural framework done. Then afterwards I start putting the textures in using Golden Acrylic's Mediums (Light Molding Paste and Fiber Mix).
After the texture comes the painting, but first I wait for the texture to dry. After the texture is dry to the touch I start using light layers of Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna Acrylic paint from Liquitex. This is basically drawing, but in paint! So if you can draw you can paint!
So after the initial block in, I start adding a little background and detail. I think its important to give every part of your work - while working on it - appropriate care. Don't just focus on the one point and forget to do anything in the background because it can become a distraction. Anything that takes you from the focus of the painting becomes a distraction and when I mean focus I don't mean that you have to have one particular area - your focus can be your message and again if there is anything that takes you away from that then you are just hurting yourself and the image!

So after this morning's sketch and study I came back this afternoon to finish up the detail of the eye, trunk and the area below the eye. I think the above picture truly illustrates the need to study. If you don't then don't be surprised if you can't see a difference between what you are doing and dumbo! STUDY!!!

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