Friday, June 10, 2011

Giuseppe Reclining

I take photos at each break during life painting to show how my process works, but also so that I will have a record of when a picture was working best.
I have observed that I, like most of my Thursday drawing buddies, tend go past a stage when our pictures have a freshness and economy about them.
We have a good long session with one pose, and I think it's in an artist's nature to keep working on a piece as long as we have a model sitting in front of us, and of course we are always hoping to improve things.
The problem then is that all you can really do is to add more and more to the picture. More detail, more definition, more paint.
Having a record of the process is really useful so that you can tell at what point you should have left the painting alone, and then maybe next time you will recognize that point and leave off before the picture becomes laboured.


This series of pictures of a painting I did of Giuseppe illustrates the point well.
It seems to me that apart from a little work I did on the the face and body, there is nothing I added in the third, forth and fifth stages that helped the picture at all. In fact the solid green and blue areas detract quite a bit.

7 comments:

aladine said...

What an interesting demonstration of process! The smooth execution of the models pose is very impressive. My favourite one is actually the fourth.

Candace X. Moore said...

Hi, PJ. Very useful to see how you laid in the big shapes and modified as you went (eg. changes to the near arm and far leg). Nice execution. Thanks for posting.

joanne May said...

Hello PJ,
Very elegant nude paintings. I especially like the girl in your previous post. Beautiful work!

I have now added this site to my special websites and blogs list on my blog.
Have a good weekend.
All the best,
Jo.

Amal said...

But how to stop at stage 3? It all gets very tricky. I actually enjoy the boldness of the shape and color of the pillow beneath the model. Only the b/g blue feels distracting. Really lovely drawing. Thank you for your frankness and willingness to post the process- it's another opportunity for us to learn from you! and not many illustrators in your position would do it.

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Amal.
How to stop?
It's simple enough...just say I'm going to do two or even three pictures where I might have done one before.
There are a lot of my pals who would really benefit from that approach.
And they'd end up with twice as many pictures....and they would be better pictures too...in theory.
I try to limit myself that way, but you are right, it is really difficult to know when you've done enough.
Thanks for the very kind comment
PJ

PJ Lynch said...

PS
Many thanks too to you guys, Aladine, Candace and Joanne for your thoughtful comments. And thanks for the listing Joanne.
Best regards
PJ

Amal said...

Thanks for the advice, PJ! This means solid decision making from the beginning, no need to linger...

The two paintings of Grace have me staring and staring, but it's her half-portrait and that sort of tangy(couldn't think of the right word) use of color that leaves me mesmerized. Exquisite.