Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Night Music

Night Music   oil/canvas   40 x 30 x 1.5
Here is that same wonderful triangle....head, hands, instrument....my favorite. In painting a figure, we artists are always tempted to spend too much time on the face. But I have learned, albeit reluctantly, that body parts must be subject to prioritization in order to tell your story, to pay honor to your focal point. A portrait is a portrait. A figure painting is something else entirely. It all gets very confusing when I try to sort out the important parts. In this session, the musician's knees were the closest parts to me. It follows then, that in order to render the illusion of 3 dimensions, the knees would be fully described. However, I wanted the knees to be supporting actors to the important triangle already mentioned. So I attempted to use the rhythm of the gesture of the legs to pull interest up into the hands/guitar area. Another way to accomplish this goal is to render the legs more flatly, heading into 2-dimensional flatness. I had to flatten them, while honoring the jutting forward of the kneecap. Trial and error. It is interesting to watch a dozen painters work from the same model. Each and every one is different. Each and every one tells a different story. Every model can become a metaphor for something deep within your soul. Priorities. Preferences. I really do try to identify my focal point before I set the brush to canvas. Knowing where you are going is a good thing. Remind me of that next time I am behind the wheel.

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