Class was a great deal of fun tonight! There was a scheduling snafu and we ended up with three models instead of two–bonus! Both models were males in their (assuming) 40-50s. They looked like they’ve lived a bit and wear their experiences well.
Since we have the models for three evenings, Rob asked us to work on a graisille drawing using raw umber and white. Rob gave a demo using Mike for his model. He sat and painted Mike in profile. He laid in an initial drawing using raw umber thinned with gamsol (a turpentine substitute) and some stand oil.
The entire focus of a graisille underpainting is to correctly draw what you are seeing (perspectives, proportion etc) and then translate it to varies shades of a mixture of two colors (in this case the raw umber and titanium white).
Rob’s demo was extremely helpful and informative. The only color used the was the umber/white. He had prepped the canvas with the toned sienna background earlier. Although I am usually very afraid of making grays but in this case that is the sole intent. I am certain you are equally amazed at the modeling he was able to accomplish using these colors.
I had a little bit of trouble trying to figure out how to translate his burnt sienna background with my neutral gray background. The gray did make for a very dark toned graisille. I had even more trouble with the idea of deliberately going towards a raw umber and white mixture. I doubted the results would be good.
I decided to paint Winston who is an older african american male. I’d been reading an article in the American Artist magazine and had seen a delicate head study of an african american male and I wanted to try something similar using Winston.
Marjorie posed Winston seated on a stool and leaning against the wall. After fooling around a little with thumbnails, I decided to paint him in the left portion of my 9×12 panel. He looked weary and I wanted to capture it.
This photo show what the painting looked like minus a few final touches. Again this isn’t supposed to be even remotely finished, just a good start. The model changed his head position significantly during the evening, from leaning back with chin at about a 45 degree angle to sitting almost straight up. I decided to continue with the leaning back position since it reinforced being weary. The background is acrylic neutral gray but appears a tad bluish in the picture.
I decided that tonight I would paint this exactly how Rob demo-ed. Thick accurate shadow patterns, care taken with drawing, and working with only two paint colors. Think I am off to a good start on this painting. I know I really liked it and Rob seemed to like it as well (the modeling and how I worked the graisille). Keep your fingers crossed.