Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Twin Arts", Part 2

Even though I have other projects going right now, I've been working almost entirely on "Twin Arts." Usually I have to move on to something else after several hours, because my painting needs time to dry. Well, this painting is so big that I can work on it in sections without having to set it aside!

With the block-in complete, and the addition of color, I started on a new layer that continues to refine my drawing, values, and color temperature, allowing myself to use more and more paint as I go so that my lights get really built up (although you won't ever see huge globs of paint on my canvases - I still paint relatively thinly!). Unlike the most traditional of classical artists, who focus on nailing their drawing before committing to color, I tend to correct things as I go...this is probably not the best way of going about it, but it seems to work for me. I keep working and working at it, and suddenly there's that moment where I step back and say, "I got it! Don't touch it anymore, Anna!"

Steve suggested the other day that I write a book some time about what goes on in my head while I'm painting. He's an engineer, by the way, so he's a problem-solver too - but in a very different way! At first this sounded like a good idea, because I might be able to explain my process a little more and what it means to be an artistic "problem-solver". But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I put down in words what goes on in my head while I paint, I'll only be adding to that well-known stereotype that artists are all lunatics. Hmmm...

Anyway, back to "Twin Arts."

Often when I paint young women or children, I sand off the face to paint over my initial layers and create a softer, smoother surface. I decided to do that with "Twin Arts" - here are the results after sanding. I wasn't afraid to lose my drawing - and probably could have sanded it a lot more. To be honest, I felt like a second or third go at the face would be good for it, anyway. (Self-portraits are hard!)

Twin Arts - Detail of face after sanding

You can see the start of the "new" face here:

Twin Arts - New Layer 1

And the rough blocked-in addition of carpeting, as well as the bottom part of my dress. I'm waiting to continue work on Emily (Music) because she can only model for me once a week.

Twin Arts - New Layer 2

And a detail of the face and hand. Still some finishing of the dress to do, as well as lots of softening on the face...

Twin Arts - New Layer Detail

More to come!

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