My Work from the Boston Trip

The cloud that got away

The cloud that got away

I had fairly mixed results during this trip.  My attempts at plein aire was disastrous.  I am embarrassed to post them, but I thought I should so here goes.

I attempted a coastline scene with some nice marsh grass and rocks, didn’t like it and wiped it out.  Then a nice fat cloud.  I got so intent on painting the worlds most beautiful plein aire cloud (it was a nice fluffy cloud who could mess that up?) only to realize my cloud had drifted away. 
The wicked gray house

The wicked gray house

Grrrrr.  So I foolishly wiped that one away as well.  I liked it so I should have left it alone.  Although another friend did say to me, “you know, usually people are afraid to put that much color in their clouds.”

 My final (grandiose) attempt was a fairly complicated grey house on a slight rise near the water. 

It was about a quarter mile away.  The phrase ‘quarter mile away’ and ‘fairly complicated; should indicate how bad the final result was. 

the plien aire disaster

the plien aire disaster

I was aiming for lonely and hopper-esque.  I wound up with something that looked like a 7 year old painted it with a Q-tip swab (saying this is probably denigrating 7 year olds). 

My friend Pat looked at the photo of my painting and liked it  (it was a house on the water in Scituate, MA).  When she saw the painting in person, she looked at me and said, “it photographs better.”  I had to agree.  I ‘accidently’ left it in Boston so they could euthanize it but the host brought it back to me this evening.  I have a feeling it will be a boat anchor/albatross around my neck.  

Drawing, Day 1

Drawing, Day 1

 On the bright side I did paint some things I liked.  I covered the actual workshop in a separate post but wanted to also show what I’d done so please forgive the abbreviated format here.

This is the drawing I made on the first day.  I sort of like it.  I seemed to have a difficult time getting into the groove for some reason and only really hit my ‘groove’ the last 30 minutes of the day. 

I have to confess that I cropped the bits and pieces I didn’t like out of the picture.  I redrew the model’s legs and lower abdomen numerous times but honestly I don’t think I got it right. 

Two 20 Minute Studies

Two 20 Minute Studies

On the second day I made several warm up pencil sketches during Rob’s demo.  Once the demo was over, Rob had us create two 20-minute sketches of Emmanuel.  We were supposed to spend 10 minutes painting only the darks and a second 10 on just the lights.

I love how the first one (on the left) came out.  The lighting from where I stood was very dramatic on his back and only hit his upper back and a small portion of his legs.  These were painted on 5×7″ gessoboards. 

Day 2 Painting

Day 2 Painting

 The model was facing me for the second  second study.   I seemed to have a much harder time with this, probably because I didn’t paint the darks and then the lights I got caught up in the details which wasn’t the point  of the exercise. 

After lunch we got down to business.  This time the model with his back in profile to me.  I really liked how this painting came out.  For some reason I guess I have an affinity for painting the backs of the models. 
Close Up of Day 2 Painting

Close Up of Day 2 Painting

Here is a close up of the model’s back.   The faint stick image on the right is a correction made by Rob. 

The palette for this painting was titanium white, burnt umber, burnt sienna, and cadnium orange (light).

I made his buttocks stick a tad further out than it was, I think that’s because I tend to emphasis the area I am working on.  I would have corrected it but the modeling was correct and the emphasis/exaggeration didn’t hurt the composition (much).  Mainly I liked where the painting was going and I didn’t want to mess it up by mucking with it too much.

Standing Female Day 3 Sketch

Standing Female Day 3 Sketch

 On the third day I made another sketch during the demo.  I couldn’t help myself; the model’s pose was so beautiful I had to sketch it in the hopes of painting it at a later date.

I sent this picture to my sister so she would have a better idea of the type of drawing I have been doing.  This drawing was done on the last day of the workshop, the model had a wonderful build and chose this difficult post (slightly arched back with weight on her left hand).

The last picture is the painting of the model seated.  I ran into the same problems with her breasts and upper torso that I had on the previous days work. 

Seated Nude Female, Day 3

Seated Nude Female, Day 3

I had her learning way too far forward.   Rob stopped by and helped me correct the  Sadly at that point I had about 35 minutes left in the day so I did what I could but frankly I don’t think it was enough.  Rob did like her legs, I went in with strong (I thought too strong) shadows and then modeled the shadows and some of the skin tones.  Then I went to work on her upper body-twice. Sigh.

If her lower legs seem odd, its because they were foreshorten in her pose.  She was perched on a stool and her feet were on the two rungs of the stool.

Hope you liked seeing these.  I had made a place holder posting so this looks significantly different than the first one.


5 responses to “My Work from the Boston Trip

  1. Beautiful drawing. Post more.
    What size is this and what were you drawing with/on?

  2. Hi Belinda,
    This was drawn in a moleskine sketchbook, unprepared surface. I used a prismacolor terra cotta pencil and it was done in three 20-minute poses. I didn’t work the entire time because Robert Liberace was lecturing/demo-ing so there’s probably about 30-35 minutes work involved.

  3. I really like your drawings of the model – they’re great. I also think you’re being much too tough on yourself re the paintings of the model – the Day 2 back is great – and foreshortening is always a *&^%$!!!

    Now has anybody ever told you how drawing a model from life really helps with plein air work? Seriously – it’s true!

  4. Hi Katherine,
    Thank you for the kind comments. As far as the foreshortening goes, I was pretty happy with how her legs came out, I know it looks odd in the pic…but it’s dead on. I didn’t develop the drapery on the stool, it was a screaming bright red which bounced lovely color on the model.

    I think I would eventually take a plein air class or spend some time working only outside. Rob is offering a trip to Ireland next year that I might take 🙂 so I could paint the fluffy sheep and whatever else is there.

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