Monday, September 26, 2016

Below the Surface

In this scenario, the model was mostly in shadow with a rim-light effect on his right side. The drawing below illustrates a true to life interpretation of how the model appeared. 

At the end of the drawing session, I was satisfied with the drawing in regards to the proportions and likeness of the sitter. However, the shading was too dark and gloomy for my liking. 

The model was excited to be our subject of the day and had a lively personality. I felt that my drawing wasn't reflecting this aspect of the sitter. 


The correction (shown above), was to invent a fill light on the shadow side to clean out the heavy mood created by the excessively dark values. A few minutes spent lifting out the darks with a kneaded eraser transformed this entire drawing.  

By doing so, I was able to describe the forms of the face much better than in the first rendition and more importantly reveal the upbeat character of the model. 

I did do some minor finishes on his left shirt collar and better indicating on his ear but for the most part, this was a value adjustment. 

So, which version is correct? I'd say they both are. The "Before" for its "This is how it looks" honesty and the "After" for going beyond surface effect to reveal the sitter's personality. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Price of Free

For those of you who don't know, an open studio is when a group of artists contributes to the model cost and typically there's no instruction provided.

Some artists choose to "gift" their sketches/drawings to the models who were hired to pose for them in open studio sessions.

This kind gesture is nice to do on occasion especially when a model has inspired a large body of work. It shows gratitude and respect for the model.

I've recently witnessed an entire group freely give their drawings to the model at the end of every session when it was not contractually a part of payment.

I attended one such session and when I didn't present the model with my "free" drawing the model quickly began to question, "Aren't you going to give me your drawing?" Immediately followed by, "What are you going to do with it? No one is going to buy a picture of me."

I never experienced this before. I thought to myself, Wow, what a way to discredit years of study and practice.

Despite the chance of falling on deaf ears, I went on to explain that this is a profession and yes, I may not sell this particular drawing, however; it does have a value.

Needless to say, my response was reciprocated with a blank gaze.

My drawings become points of reference. I don't just stash them away never to be seen again. I will routinely go through my collection and critique them to see what areas I could improve on or simply enjoy studying the successful ones.

Every artist has their policies, but I believe when artists don't put a value on their efforts (hobbyist or professional) it devalues the entire craft.

(I'm not referring to donating work for charity fundraisers or Pro Bono work).

Monday, September 12, 2016

Time to Reflect

Reflective light is light bouncing off one object or surface onto another. In this example, the sunlight is bouncing off the ground plane warming the shadows that face downward.

As the height of the cactus becomes too far away from the reflective light of the ground plane to reach there begins a shift from warm to cool in temperature within the shadow shape.

Soon, the cooler blues and blue-violets reflected from the sky above will influence the color temperatures within the shadows.

Title: Desert Texture
Painted on: Centurion Linen Painting Panel.
Medium: Oil
Dimensions: 12x12 inches.