Monday, December 20, 2010

Figure Paintings

Last few figure paintings from Zhaoming Wu's class.

This one was actually done a few months ago, in the middle of the semester, from photo. It's much tighter than I usually like working but was pretty helpful for exploring form. The drapery didn't work at all, and some of the anatomy is wonky. Worst of all, it just doesn't add up into a unified image, it looks more like bits and pieces put together. During the final critique, Zhaoming said that this was the last time I worked in my older approach.

This was the final painting from life, done over 4 classes. Same great model as the previous in-class work. The pose was from a difficult angle, but it did have a great gesture and I loved the twist of her torso. The painting actually looked like a wreck after the first day- I had the drawing and gesture down fine, but the values were extremely muddy and the color was all off. At the beginning of the second day, Zhaoming pointed out that I could just focus on the drawing and edges and whatnot and let the color go, since it wasn't the focus of the painting. It went much more smoothly after that. On the whole he was really pleased with this one, one for the drawing, and two because I've started to get a little more expressive and push things in the painting that aren't necessarily there in the setup, but which I think will make a better painting.

This one was the final homework, done from photo. By the time I started this one, I was getting bored of doing all the tight, anal illustration work that I'd been doing, so I went nuts on the background with the palette knife. I wanted to give it an emerging from mist of chaos look (yeah, yeah, it's been done to death), it seemed natural given the reference pose. For painting the figure, I tried using William Whitaker's approach of building the form using broken strokes of color in layers, rather than the thicker, direct application that I normally do. I like how it worked out, it's a different look for sure but it helps me get away from the harsh look that many of my paintings still have. I feel like I was able to get a more delicate and graceful look that I wouldn't have achieved otherwise, especially in the halftones.

I really wish I could take this class again- I learned a lot from Zhaoming, and actually getting compliments from him almost makes me want to drop illustration and do figure paintings all the time :P. He said that from now on, I should start to focus on color, since the other stuff is starting to fall into place.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Figure Paintings

Here are some of the figure paintings I've done this semester for Zhaoming Wu's class. The first few are pretty bad, but I'm posting them to show progression and all.

The first 2 week pose was done in monochrome, we had to focus more on anatomy and modeling. This one came out alright, just a little dark.

Another 2 week pose, this time with a full palette. Still more focus on structure, since the first 2 poses of the semester are with male models. I was also trying to push the edges and color with this, although the painting was unsuccessful in the end. One of the major color problems I was having at this point was the uniformity of the blue throughout the shadows.

This one, a 3 week pose, was under natural light. It started off alright and I thought I was achieving that really nice, delicate cool light look that I admire so much in other peoples' paintings, but it very quickly went downhill and ended up a boring, overmodeled mess. I didn't continue this one after the 2nd week, it was too far gone.

This one was a turning point for me. For the most part I finished all the major stuff in week 1, and spent the next 2 weeks fine tuning. I'm happy with how the color turned out, and I love the pose- the model's one of my favorite that I've painted so far. During this painting I also started getting the occasional compliment from Zhaoming, which is utterly surreal. As much as I like this piece, I do wish I'd pushed the lost and found edges a little more, I started off on track but tightened the whole thing as it went on.

This one was a quick study, done in around 2 and a half hours. Zhaoming basically told me I should stop working on the painting of Cecilia when I felt like it was done, lest I ruin it, so I moved to the other model. Even though it's a quick painting, I've quite happy with it- I got the cool light effect that I find so hard to achieve, I pushed more color into the skin without turning it into mud, and I stayed loose with the whole thing.

There are 3 more paintings from the semester that are still underway, I'll post them in around a week.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recent Illustrations

I really need to update this thing more often. Here are some illustrations from this semester so far. I'll upload some of my figure paintings later on.

Second assignment for Craig Nelson's class. Like any normal person, I love pirates, so out of the 50+ briefs we had to choose from, this was the obvious choice to illustrate. I've also been on a Pyle/Dunn/Wyeth kick for the past several months.

3rd assignment for Craig's class. I figured I'd do something non-violent for a change, and brief gave me an excuse to paint flowers.

This one was for Bill Maughan's class. I'd actually had the idea for this one kicking around for a few weeks, and it seemed like a good fit for the assignment, which was to do a Levi's ad around their current slogan, "We are all workers."

Friday, November 26, 2010