Monday, September 27, 2010

NYC: The Workshop

Unfortunately, this post will be brief as I am short on time lately and am thus not able to explain more of the workshop. Steven Assael is a favorite artist of mine, yet he paints drastically different than I do. I knew this going in to the workshop, but his process and way of making marks was even more different than I had anticipated. My goal here was to do something completely uncomfortable to me, and that's certainly what I got! I've never before used so many saturated colors in my flesh tones, or used such thick paint, and it was great to do something different. I had no idea what would happen to my work once I got home, but since I've been working for a bit since returning, I can feel the influence on my work. I'm not doing things the same way as in the workshop, but I've added a few new colors to my palette, I'm thinking about what I see a little differently, and even my mark has changed slightly. All exciting stuff to me!

Anyway, I had a great time in the workshop and met some really cool people that were also in the class. I loved being surrounded by Steven's art, various props, and seeing his demo progress. Below I've included images of his work and items from the studio, and my painting progress.

Above, my painting with Steven's marks on it. I debated just taking this home and starting a new painting, but then decided I might learn more by continuing on top of his work.


More progress.

My final work.

Close up of the face (too yellow.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inspirations from the Met Part 5: Technique

Of all these things, I think what I wrestle with the most is technique, and where I personally want to go with it. Should I use higher chromas, or mostly grays? Should I let my brushstrokes remain more visible, or obliterate them? Build more texture in the light areas or not? Might I use more soft edges to create atmosphere, or keep my work crisp but subtle?

I think I am beginning to answer some of these questions for myself, but no doubt I will continue to sway. Part of me hopes that I never fully make up my mind so that I will not find myself in a routine.

That is it for my images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hope you have also been inspired!

Inspirations from the Met Part 4: Sculptures

I especially loved the sculptures at the Met, and really wish I had time to sit and draw many of them. Unfortunately I only had time to draw the first one here. I think I enjoy the sculptures because since they are in-the-round and not supported/confined (depending on your opinion) by a frame or background they depend almost exclusively upon expression of pose. It makes me wonder whether I should have been a sculptor since I seem to not have much interest in 'backgrounds' or 'props' in my paintings. I have yet to decide if this is just something about my work and myself that I can accept, or a flaw to be fixed. For now, I am working on considering the entire space on the canvas and creating a complete scene around the figure, and I can decide later (or never) which path is right.

Inspirations from the Met Part 3: Subject Matter

Technique and composition in these paintings are still amazing, but I pulled these out into this section based on current and past themes in my own work, mainly the narrative content and/or costume.

Inspirations from the Met Part 2: Compositions

While at the Met, I did a number of little compositional studies of these paintings and also the Gentilleschi from Part 1. I drew the basic shapes in my sketchbook, and included basic shading in 3-5 values and added arrows for the flow of energy/path of the eye through the canvas. Composition is an area I really want to improve on, and I hope studying these will help.