What are you working on?

Desforges

Well-known member
Messages
473
Love your famous blue skies, and can’t wait to see more of the second , already like the complexity of all those wires and rocks, almost abstract in nature.
 

Iain

Huh?
Messages
474
Great ideas, and the layout looks spot on. I love overheard wires and big skies. It's mostly dull and overcast here. And the dark nights are coming in. I have read Joshua Tree described as a Suessian landscape. I once had a soccerball sized Barrel cactus. I can't help thinking of Agnes Martin in New Mexico. Discursive post alert.
 

OliveOyl

Active member
Messages
117
Brian, where did you get your mugshots? If you want more, and if you haven’t already stumbled across this site...it’s a good one. I’ve used six of them for one of my paintings. And the descriptions are great.

AU MUG SHOTS
 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
287
Brian, where did you get your mugshots? If you want more, and if you haven’t already stumbled across this site...it’s a good one. I’ve used six of them for one of my paintings. And the descriptions are great.

AU MUG SHOTS
I used mugshots.com, which has thousands upon thousands. :)
 

stlukesguild

Well-known member
Messages
1,059
Badly misaligned the lady on the left's eyes, so now she looks even more criminal...

There's more than one use for rulers. 😁
 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
287
Badly misaligned the lady on the left's eyes, so now she looks even more criminal...

There's more than one use for rulers. 😁
Nowadays I mostly manage to get the alignment right (well, more or less, anyway), and for such very quick sketches I forgive myself any and all errors if I can manage to more or less capture a likeness. It wasn't always like that. Years ago I had a mighty struggle with aligning eyes. After battling it out for literally hours with a portrait, I decided to sacrifice it to the learning process: I took a ruler and drew a hard, solid, absolutely inerasable line where the eyes should be. Then used it as guide. Only to find that I had misaligned them again, by somehow managing not to stay on the hard guideline. I gave up on art altogether then, but of course, I couldn't stay away from it for long.

I have since made my peace with my inability to accurately copy anything. If I couldn't learn how to do it in thirty years, I don't think any magical method or technique is now going to make a difference. I have discovered how to capture a recognizable likeness without getting the proportions and everything right. That's the funny thing, actually: in the past, my attempts at portraiture were more accurate to the reference photo, but seldom actually looked much like the person in them. Now I can quite reliably capture a recognizable likeness, even when I manage to distort the face quite a bit in my haste. :D

It is something that has always interested me: what is it that makes a portrait likeness a likeness? It isn't accuracy, or caricatures would be unrecognizable (when in fact, they can actually be more readily recognizable than a photograph). I have now cracked the secret, I think, except I cannot think of any way in which to verbalize it. I know what to look for when drawing a portrait, but I can't tell you what it is. :)
 

stlukesguild

Well-known member
Messages
1,059
I have found... at least with my own work... that the slightest disparity can cause the painting to look "off". But I'm not speaking of academic purism. For example, the painter Ian Uglow spent endless hours to capture the exact "correct" placement... but his paintings do very little for me. On the other hand, Ingres spent as much... or likely far more time to establish the exact placement that he was after... but this was not at all a sort of academic accuracy. It was far closer to Mannerism:

76ee03630a08a9a5bd78a5fca6974532.jpg


Ingres1.jpg


BeFunky_Ingres_Vicomtesse_Othenin_d-Haussonvillesmall.jpg


Personally, once I have established the placement to a good extent, I am free to work in a very gestural manner.
 

Maybenartist

Well-known member
Messages
297
Correct shapes make a portrait recognisable. When I pick my grandchildren up from school I can't see any details of the faces, but I instantly, at a distance recognise the shapes of their head and features. Same with all people we know that we can pick out of a crowd 50 metres away. Get the shapes right and you have a likeness.
 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
287
Correct shapes make a portrait recognisable. When I pick my grandchildren up from school I can't see any details of the faces, but I instantly, at a distance recognise the shapes of their head and features. Same with all people we know that we can pick out of a crowd 50 metres away. Get the shapes right and you have a likeness.
At one point in my desperation, I started using a grid on a reference photo, thus making sure the shapes were right. My portraits did not resemble the people in the reference photo at all. There is more to it than shapes. What's more, in caricatures the shapes are deliberately distorted, sometimes quite grossly, but in a good caricature the person is nevertheless instantly recognizable.
 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
287
Wonder what it is then?
Well, that's a good question. Here are two caricatures stolen from the web. Given the distortions of the features and proportions, they should be unrecognizable, yet I have no trouble identifying the two gentlemen:

Jonathan-Shapiro-Democrazy.jpg


Now this is presumably an attempt at a realistic drawing:

18149.jpg


It is less recognizable, despite not being quite as distorted. The accidental distortions make it less recognizable instead of turning it into a caricature.

So what is it then that the caricaturist captured? I have an intuitive feel for what it is, but I cannot begin to verbalize it.
 

Nufocus

Active member
Messages
177
Olive, so interesting!! Thank you so much for posting. Maybe I’ll learn something one of these days?....Hope so.
Arty, this is soooo Arty! Cool!
 

Nufocus

Active member
Messages
177
I’ve been trying to do black and white stuff. Franz Klein’s very powerful things are an inspiration. However, in this one I stuck to figures.... A failure?
Anyways, I think I’ll keep on trying.
6309A8F6-5957-49AB-B10C-39909D9337C2.jpeg
 

stlukesguild

Well-known member
Messages
1,059
Today is the first day since we started back to school... "distance learning"... that I have been able to get into the studio. Distance learning... involving posting lessons online, checking on the work online, doing grading online... and holding weekly live class sessions may work for the classroom teachers who have one class and maybe 20-35 students at the outermost. It is insane for the teachers in Art, Music, PE, and other special courses. I teach 9 grade levels and 18 different classes including the Special Ed classes. We're expected to make live videos of ourselves demonstrating each lesson for each class for students who miss the live sessions (which is about 3/4ths of them) and then I have to post lessons on two different platforms for the younger kids: the main sight (Schoology) and one that is far more accessible for the younger kids (Seesaw). On top of this, I can't use the majority of the lessons I have employed over the years because some of the kids... a good many of them... don't have most of the materials that we might employ in class: glue, construction paper, watercolor, poster paints, pastels, etc... Cleveland has once again entered into the Red Zone for outbreaks of the virus and so we are going to be working this way until Christmas Break.

Nevertheless... I did get into the studio today. Now someone please remind me why I elected to go with blackberries... again!? A sudden instance of masochism?

Blackberries1.jpg


You'd think I would have learned something from the last time I used blackberries in one of my paintings... which wasn't all that long ago:

MichelleBlackberries1.700.jpg


I still have 9 or 10 blackberries to do on this side alone! :oops: 😩
 

Iain

Huh?
Messages
474
Love the purple and pink and blue hues against the gold. You have obviously gone Blackberry wild. Black mulberries are sweeter.
 
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