Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Value of Vermeer...365 Days of Drawing.

Busy first day of my teaching workshop "Oil Painting - A Valued Approach". As a warm up exercise, I had students copy Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Ear-ring, using just five values, with an image I had tweaked to produce that five value outcome, the whole exercise lasting about an hour and 15 minutes.

It was a rewarding exercise to make that five-value Vermeer statement ahead of time and then to see students nail those values so well, a sample of work shown here, before they tackled a real model in the afternoon. PLENTY of drawing going on today to meet my daily 2010 challenge but nothing I can post.

I also did a quick demo showing the value of using a mid-value dried toned ground to paint on rather than just plain white with a "borrow" from my teacher Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., who has always demo'd this in every workshop I have attended over the last eight years. A priceless lesson that I have learned so much from each time. Vermeer of course also worked on a toned ground - a beige color like the cream in your coffee.

Ah... the value of values... And of course my old valued stand-by friends Mr K. and Vermeer...I have learned so much from both. Anyone who comes to my studio, sees my Vermeer books first and the camera obscura next that I tracked down to try and understand how Vermeer made his magic. Hmmmm...Mr. K's books are nestled right by Vermeers.

One of my favorite moments in one of Mr. K's winter workshops at The Art Students' League of New York was when he suddenly pointed to a beautiful picture on the wall I had spotted earlier of A Girl With A Pearl Ear-ring. He then proceeded to talk about how great Vermeer was and why. I never quite knew how Mr. K, a big bold brush painter in the school of Sargent, felt about the more quiet, controlled Vermeer and hadn't liked to ask. Now I knew it really was fine for me to have my little obsession with Vermeer. Relief.

Plus, my favorite art man talking about my other favorite art man...well, it really doesn't get any better than that.


Marian Fortunati said...

Sounds like a great day... Wonderful post!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

thank you Marian, as always.