Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pastel Portrait and the girl with the Butterfly Tattoos - Works in Progress

Sometimes there are pieces waiting for me in the studio, unfinished, unloved, needing me to resolve their needs.  It may take several months, or even longer, to not only find the time to finish, but to know WHAT I want to do!  This painting of the Girl with the Butterfly Tattoos is one of those pieces!

A few months back, and I am a little embarrassed to admit this, I grabbed some black paint and layered over the painting.  Too aggressive.  Too dark.  And I wasn't in the right "place" - rushed and un-focused.  I don't even think I have a picture of it in that stage...it was so bad!  I was so worried that I couldn't rescue the piece.

Well it still isn't 100% finished, but at least I have gotten it on it's way.  I layered some transparent modeling medium over the black paint, then glazed with thin gesso, and started re-working the lines and butterflies with black conte.  The repeated triangle shapes in her shoulder and hair are still a little harsh - I have to work on that corner some more.  It feels like a well-worm sculpture right now, one that has been exposed to dirt and rain, like she has some history, and a bit of sadness.  I'd like to add in a little hope, too.

Other times...there are pieces I can't WAIT to get started on and after thinking about them for a few days, dying to get into the studio...they pour out of me in a rush!  I took a few amazing photos of our figure model last week and decided to start a new pastel portrait today.

I knew that I wanted to capture that gorgeous wrap on her head, and the fabulous organic shape that the tie made to the side.  I am inventing the cooler light on her right side.  The light was there for the first 10 minutes of our drawing session - we started just before the sun fully set, so there was warm light from the spot, and cool light from the window.

Unfortunatly I took the reference photo after the cool light was completely gone.  I hope I am capturing that sense of two different light sources of very different temperature.  I worked for about an hour on this today, and I am very pleased with the start.  Let's hope a good beginning also means a good ending!

I will keep you updated as I finish these pieces :)

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