Monday, January 24, 2011

Juicy Fruits of Labor...

A horror teaching class demo is never a good thing. I left this one to dry as I raced out the door for a trip, wondering if I should first put a fist through it? Glad I didn't on my return today. Here's why.

I have been trying to get more transparency and fresh juicy 'clean' color in my life-painting work. I tend to work fast and thick which I enjoy. Easy when you make a mistake as you can just repaint over with more paint just like slapping layers of Max Factor pancake on an old movie star.

To do sheer well, using a dried ground for maximum effect, as well as keeping color really fresh, NOT GREYED DOWN, I find I am challenged to have to work with much more accuracy from the get go and a plan has to be more in place. The drawing also has to be there. No mishaps. Ha!

I seemed to be having every single mishap possible on the day of my teaching class including a mild sinus infection - just not feeling in the zone. The distractions of teaching. But I battled on, furiously muttering to myself. I just wanted to wipe it off.

I have studied old master Philip De Laszlo for quite a while now and have been very lucky to have been shown some 'up, close and personal' royal portraits of his, not on public display. One outing was a very special day for me I will never forget. To be in a Scottish Royal Castle's private quarters, over morning coffee with the "Lady" of the House, gazing at the De Laszlos in the living room, the reason for our visit. Ahhhh...I had to pinch myself. The royal coffee wasn't bad either but Brits. do tea better.

In my humble opinion, De Laszlo painted very fresh luminous skin tones with great vibrancy, portrait painting of skin as juicy as it gets. I think he got more luminosity in his skin than his famous portrait predecessor, John Singer Sargent. But, sssshhh. Don't quote me on that. Unlike some artists, de Laszlo has left quite a detailed interview and film footage of his approach/technique, along with an actual painting demo, all available here...

The De Laszlo Archive Trust has been working hard to preserve his legacy and this site is a real treat.

I realized that while this study of mine has problems with the drawing and lack of any real 'feel', the skin looked really juicy and somehow transparent when I saw it again today with a fresh eye. Progress was labor not in vain. Now to improve...

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