Denise at Artist's Loft acrylic on canvas 24 by 20
I am trying to have more fun with the backgrounds at the Firehouse and in this one I was thinking about what it might look like if Denise was modeling in one of the lofts that are near the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. It is still a work in progress. Karen
This was a frustrating session for me. Larry took a seated reading pose and had a little trouble holding it--the position of his head was not consistent. Since I was working only on the head, this was a problem for me. At one point, one of the other artists asked Larry to correct his pose, and he complied--taking him into what was, from my vantage point, a completely different head position. So I started over on another sheet of paper. After twenty minutes of the new position, Larry somehow went back to the original head position and held it pretty consistently for the rest of the session. So I went back to the first painting and dropped the second one. Neither one is "finished" but it's obvious which one I spent more time on. It's also obvious, to me anyway, how much range there was in the position of his head.
Iris Sabre sent this painting done during the recent session that coincided with the North Shattuck Wine and Food Festival. We had 5 painters who were all very good sports and kept painting even though the room was filled with people who stopped by to taste wine. Iris said, " I went to my happy place while painting Randall during the wine-tasting last week. With 100 plus people in the room drinking Kombucha the intensity of his focus was matched only by my own."
It all started with Prudence's pose. We were joking around and then, seeing I would have a bit of extra time, I measured my height vs her figure and drew an outline of myself in the background. I figured I would challenge myself to paint a credible portrait of myself as Olympia's servant in my studio. I did the underpainting for myself at the very end of our three hour period.
Once home I asked Sarah to take a picture of me in the same position I had sketched, using an old laptop as a prop. We used the light from our living room window because it came at the same angle as the light from the lamp at the Firehouse, but once in my studio, I turned it into incandescent light by using the same color mix I was using at night, titanium white, cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue.
I know the composition isn't fantastic, but I was really going for the challenge I had set myself and not so much for a perfect product. Now that I have a method, I will try this again and again until I feel more comfortable.
Denise is an unusual model in that she can sustain a smile for three hours. I don't know how she achieves this.
For this painting, I mixed each color with a lot of stand oil. Normally I don't do this when I work all a prima, but the resulting mix is too thick. So mixing each color beforehand with stand oil gives the whole painting a more fluid feel. You can really see it in the objects near the window.
I worked on the area next to the window first, for fear of losing the blue light after the sun went down. Then I worked on the room, and lastly, on Denise. I revised in my studio, making a mental note of what I wanted to change before I left the firehouse.