Last night was a little rough for me at figure drawing...I don't know if it's allergies or a cold, but man, I was WIPED OUT. I was going to work in pastel, but since I was spending most of the night sneezing, I opted for a less dusty media, graphite pencil.
These are on 11" x 14" white sketch paper, using just a standard #2 pencil.
I haven't worked with graphite in a while, but I think it worked well here, and I don't do a lot of blending - I like the crisp lines to build up in layers.
I can't say it enough - I get to work with so many amazing models in my figure drawing groups! Last Wednesday our model was kind enough to pose for a few reference photos. My desire is to create a large series of the black and white charcoal drawings on the textured surfaces.
With his shaved head and broad shoulders, I had a feeling this pose would be perfect for him, and so far it's looking great! His head and hand are coming forward, the right shoulder is dropped and twisted towards his knee, there is a lot of tension where his hand is gripping the stand. This particular surface is pretty gouged and not as smooth as some of the previous pieces, and I decided not to sand it any further because I liked that grittiness and imperfection.
He also had some great poses during our group, one of which he used a rope to pull and create tension along his back.
The second, longer pose, had a dramatic overhead light that, again, really benefited from his shaved head and well defined shoulders.
Both of these were drawn with charcoal and watercolor pencils on watercolor paper primed with gesso.
You may know that I am hard at work on a series of figures in black and white on textured panels. Well I really excited about where the series is going, I have a lot of new inspiration photos to work from. I'm hoping to show all of the work together in a gallery in the near future. But...I know many of you are excited about the work and have asked about prints! So I ran some test prints yesterday and these two came out GORGEOUS!
(I just tested these, and they both fit...now it looks like I'm talking to myself on twitter! LOL!)
You only need to do this once per figure - multiple entries will not count.
Copy and paste one (or both!) of these onto your status update. (You need to make "kristina laurendi havens aka krystyna81" an ACTIVE link to my Art Page by adding in the "@" symbol in front of my name. Which means you are "mentioning" the page in your post.) I will only be able to keep track of the posts that mention my Art Page, because these will automatically show up on that wall.
PS - posts on FB need to include the link to the print of your choice on your wall. Please let me know if you have any issues on the Free Print Event Page. Thanks!
On this Blog!
Leave me a comment on this post! Just write "I want a man!" or "I want a woman!" and be sure there is a way for me to track you down if you win :) (Posts will not show up right away...but I will see them :)
Entries must be posted by Sunday, October 24th at midnight EST. I will tally up all of the entries and pick two winners on Monday the 25th!
Each participant may enter up to six times - two on twitter, two on Facebook, and two on this blog. One winner will receive the print of the male figure, one will receive the print of the female. No purchase necessary. All sipping charges are included! Good luck.
A few weeks ago our Wednesday evening figure drawing group had the privilege of working with two wonderful figure models together. Truly professional and incredibly talented - they both have incredible "stage presence" and transform poses into mini-stories, in a way.
A small group of us to wanted some extra time to work on one long pose booked the same models today and had almost 4 hours to paint one fabulous pose.
I started on a primed and tinted canvas, 24" x 30", blocking in both figures. I wanted to be sure that I was leaving enough room at both ends of the pose, so that her elbow was going to be in the frame and his foot would not be cut off on the other end.
Working with a 1" brush I blocked in some of the larger shadow shapes.
As I started to work into the smaller areas of detail, I had to move a few elements - the length of his leg was too long, and his head was too high, so I had to re-draw both areas.
I continued to add local color, trying not to get too bright too fast. I still feel that his leg may be in the wrong spot, or that his torso is just too long. But I like the composition, and the space between the male and female figure. There is an important element, his hand caressing his thigh, that I really need to paint in - it shows more of a connection between the two figures.
It was so nice to work for such a long time from one pose, to really have a chance to look, and re-look, and think about where elements need to be. Now, when I finish this in the studio from reference photos, I'll be able to draw from both the photograph and the actual experience.
Last night while driving to Figure Drawing group here in Woodstock I actually had to take a moment and think about where the last seven days went! It's been such a busy week, doing a million different things with the kids and my husband and trying to maintain an active on-line shop! But, somewhere in all the chaos, I am getting a little work done.
I've added some more copper leaf to the tree painting, and this layer is a bit more organic. I sanded the previous layer, so they each have a different sheen, and it's a nice layered effect.
I've also started to work on the figure and drapery in this acrylic painting I started last week. I haven't decided...should her eyes be open or closed?
And of course there's new drawings from last night! Our model was so fantastic, I was so wrapped up in drawing I totally forgot to grab my camera and take any photos - either of her or the work in progress! Here is a 15 minute pastel - I exaggerated her curves and had some fun with color. My fellow artists liked it very much as-is...but I may still add a bit more color (cuz I can!)
And the second pose was about an hour and a half. I grabbed a beautiful remnant of silky blue fabric at the craft store, and the color was gorgeous with the model's skin tone, hair color, and her bright red headband. This is nupastel on Wallis paper.
So...as you can see, I have a lot of work to do...off to the studio!
I love putting these videos together of my drawings as the progress. They are not professional by any means, but it is a lot of fun to watch how the drawing came together. I think my favorite so far is the pastel portrait of the Olive Scarf - the way the colors change as I draw. But this drawing of the couple is interesting, too, because you can see how the drawing had several shifts - the background is dark and then light, the shape of his head changes, the size of her foot is adjusted...all the elements are worked and re-worked to bring it to life!
Christmas is only....73 days away! Now is the time to order Custom Portraits for Holiday Gift Giving.
A perfect, unique gift for Mom...how about turning one of your cherished family photos into a beautiful painting?
Your Grandparents would love a classic, beautiful portrait of a precious moment between them and their grandchildren. Capture the moment of a summer vacation or a Holiday gathering in a gorgeous pastel drawing.
These are just a few examples of the hundreds of Custom Portraits that I have created in Oils, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, and Charcoal over the last decade. You can view more custom portrait samples in my Fine Art on Etsy shop.
Most portraits take 4 weeks to create, so start planning now! I can accommodate a limited number of orders between now and Christmas.
Questions? Contact me at 1-773-236-7278 (773-2-FOR ART)
Don't forget - follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date on Promotions and Sales during the Holiday Season.
A couple new paintings started this week. Wednesday evening during figure drawing group I began a 9" x 12" panel of the female nude, perched upon black and teal drapery. I started by under painting in shades of blue and a little brown, manipulating the limbs and fabric until I was happy with the placement.
Working on a small scale, it's important to get everything blocked in proportion before thinking about detail.
For the next hour I worked on getting the local color and minor adjustments to the figure.
Since our session came to an end, the kind model permitted me to take a reference photo so that I can finish. I am especially interested in painting the pattern in the drapery.
Much like this painting from a couple weeks ago, I think the pattern will really add interest to the piece.
Also started this week...I am working on a painting for a client's dining/living area. The walls are copper colored, and they are especially drawn to trees. I found a really small (1" x 2") snapshot of a cherry tree branch in bloom in a magazine, so I am basing this painting off of that tiny picture. I'm glad it's tiny, though...I want to look at the general shape, not minute details.
I started with a wash of cadmium orange, then glazed over that with a mix of turquoise and white. Then I added about a hundred little squares of copper foil (THAT was fun!) and glazed again with a mixture of red and sap green. (two panels, 30" x 30" each)
I'm just starting to add some lines with conte' crayon.
I have worked in this style before, and it creates a surface with a lot of depth and texture. The birds in this painting were created the same way.
And I love using copper leaf, you can control it to some extent, but sometimes it will tear and rip, creating accidental shapes as it did in this painting of the figure.
I will still add several more layers, and maybe even use a little modeling paste in a few areas. I also like to sand away spots that become over-developed, revealing some buried moments.
I'm excited about finishing both of these paintings...soon I hope!
Over the past weekend I had two very different events and two different opportunities to start a pastel portrait. Friday night, during the opening for Art of the Figure, we had a live model pose and I began a portrait in Nupastel on an olive green piece of Colourfix paper. On Saturday, I participated in the Crabapple Festival in Milton, GA. I used this opportunity, outside, a gorgeous sunny day, to set up my easel and start a portrait from a photograph of my little girl. (This is not finished yet!)
I started out early in the day with just a few colors - some blues and fuscia - to define the large shapes. Then I started to add bits of warm and cool greens and pinks as well.
All during the festival visitors would stop and chat and we would discuss technique, what kind of photo to start from, how I chose my colors, etc. I encourage people to select photos that are taken in natural light, that capture a casual moment rather than a forced smile. When you are looking thru photos trying to decide what to turn into a portrait, look for the one that says to you "Now THAT is their personality!"
So what source of information is easier to work from - the live model or the photograph? One of the obvious benefits when dealing with a child's portrait is the photograph stays still. However, when working from a live model, I tend to find a lot more color in and around the figure, as you can see here from Friday's live demonstration.
There is a lot of energy in the mark-making, and the layering of color is more "impulsive" rather than trying to match a photo. However, since I did not get to finish that evening, I will resolve the features and finalize the piece from a photograph.
In the end, I think that portrait artists need a good balance of working from the live model and photographic references. We can take the strengths of both an put them to use in our work. If I end up with a reference photo that is a little monochromatic or too dark, I can remember the colors I find in the live model.
I just want to thank all of the fabulous people who visited Ann Litrel Art on Friday night to see our show, The Art of the Figure. There was a constant stream of people, and it was such a pleasure to chat with you about the work and share information about our drawing group and what we enjoy creating.
My neighbor sent me some great pictures so I'm going to share a few of those. Someday when I actually download the photos from my camera I'll add those, too! Most of these show myself and two fellow artists working from our wonderful live model. That was a lot of fun for everyone...we were all working in very different styles, and viewers seemed to enjoy watching the process and seeing how different artists approached the same subject.