Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Guy in Grissaille

Hey everyone. This will be brief. I promised that I would post more work soon. Here it is. As some of you may remember from previous posts, I have just recently started dabbling in oils. I've painted exclusively with acrylics for years. But, as I've studied and experimented I've discovered that I probably won't get the results I'm after unless I learn the oil medium.

This first picture is the initial graphite sketch of a subject that I thought was appropriate. I've had so many positive responses on this blog and on the Flickr site of the Blue Towel guy that I decided to return to the "towel" theme. Just so you know, I feel I missed on the likeness of the model terribly. However, the focus of this painting is not necessarily to create a portrait but to learn oil painting technique. But, I feel I got the body proportions fairly accurate and the hands and forearms may be the best I've drawn (except for blue towel guy).
The second picture here is the actual painting. It's a 16 x 20 black and white grissaille. I apologize for the quality of the photos, as usual. The lighting in my little painting room is terrible. My wall color really gets into the photos terribly. The pencil drawing is actually photoshopped and color corrected because the light was so bad.
Now, because I would rather point out my flaws rather than have someone else do it, here's the critique. I did a pretty good job with manipulating values and getting the forms modeled correctly. However, the light source is really unclear. I think the reference photo was probably lit with multiple light sources. But, it still created enough deep cast shadows to make an interesting composition. My backgrounds are usually pretty lame but I'm happy with this one. The towel is still very unrefined. I've intentionally left a lot of soft, lost edges throughout the work so that I won't have to commit to final decisions until later layers. I'm not happy with the face. I'm going to live by that artist motto that perhaps it will just "work itself out". If you get a hint of brown in this when you enlarge the photo, you're right. The underdrawing is a raw umber frottie. Let me know what you think of him.

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