Whoapld: , I thought this thread was dead and buried. Since it has had a temporary recovery I will give some responses and be especially pleased to answer questions regarding process and technique.
photeck121, Thanks for the comment. I think my figurative work is behind my still-life in large part because of practice. I am working to improve. Keep an eye out. I'm going to work at it.
perineum, Thanks man I appeciate it. And in reguard to
I agree. Oh and not that it really matters but I'm 27 as opposed to 28. Give me those extra months cause once I hit 28 I've got to admit I'm closer to 30 than 25.Bernini surpasses him in ability overall and doesnt have the same noteriety.
Jason, I appreciate your chiming in. I think your replys are truthful. I also I also hope to grow as I mature and I appreciate your being aware that this is a long journey for all of us with so much to learn and so much left that we can accomplish.
complete2, Took a look at your site. The illustrations and photos remind me of work that I was doing in my late teens and earily twentys. I'm being honest here. Much of my focus has shifted over the years and impart toward a direction to make a living. I still have grand ideas for large figurative works that are first conceieved totally in the mind. At that time I tried to exicute some of these works and found I could not match the majesty they had in my mind. I have built up my skills since then but still don't think I am ready. I also can't afford to do what I would like to do yet. So someday perhaps. I believe that as you continue your journey your opinions of what is valid and what is not and interests will shift, not necessarily in the direction I have but will shift none the less. Good luck with that journey.
salah, thanks for checking out the work.
BlackMath and others interested, hope this is useful:
This first image is of the stretched linen. I have transferred my linear drawing onto the linen by doing a charcoal transfer. With this I then continued to work up the drawing a bit correcting for distortions and slight shifts that occurred during the transfer as well as shading the forms a bit.
The goal of what I am after in this particular case and at this point is to have a very clear drawing to help place location of the paint.
Additionally the shading helps to transition away from the design and two-dimensional qualities of line that I had upon the prelimary transfer of the drawing. It gets my mind thinking about the objects as three-dimensional despite being on the flat surface of the linen. It also allows me to rehearse in an abbreviated way the direction of light and how it is revealing the forms. It also serves one last practical function. Because I intended to cover the majority of the painting with a single pass of relatively thin paint the white ground will not allow for very good coverage in the mid-tones and darks. This is also important in an archival sense because all paint becomes more transparent with time a darker ground (even in charcoal) will help minimize this lightening of the darker portions of the painting.
The second image is of the drawing explained above. At this point it has been spray-fixed (With this much charcoal it can take a bit of spray-fixative, a hint is to rotate the linen and spray it form different angles. The reason for this is that the tooth of the linen can cause little shelves that will not get droplets of spray fixative if only shot form one angle.) Jason you have it fairly spot on at this point.
The mixture of paint I put on before wiping out or lifting out was Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue (in this case I didn’t use Ivory black because of its very slow drying time). The Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue are in essence an orange and a blue which cancel each other out hue wise and chromatically creating a very dark (almost black) grey which can be shifted a bit warmer or cooler. I applied this with a large brush and covered the whole surface it was thinned with high quality mineral spirits and Liquin to help speed the drying time. I usually run a soft brush over the surface in opposite directions that are right angles to each other to smooth the paint out allowing me to more clearly see the drawing at this point. I then started with the brightest parts wiping off paint with a rag continuing down through successively darker tones. At first everything wipes off then as the paint becomes tackier with drying the pressure can be controlled allowing for more subtlety of tone. At the end even with the paint almost completely dried to the touch a bit of solvent in a brush allows that you can go back a pick out the highlights. I let this completely dry before starting to paint.
The function of this stage is just as Jason stated. It allows for a fuller range of tones and again gets me closer to the values I want for the painting. This step is also for reinforcement of the qualities the charcoal shading give. It allows even better coverage and better archival qualities than just the charcoal would have. I generally don’t worry about hitting the exact tone I intend for the final piece but instead just try to get within “striking distance.”
I should also mention I feel at this point what has been done helps to suggest the “effect.” I feel the effect is the equivalent to the gesture in drawing except done in tone. It is the atmosphere and effect of light filtering among the objects along with the focus of the predominant light areas of the canvas in contrast with the dark areas later to be reinforced by the modeling. It is a hard terms to describe but to my sensibilities a very important devise.
Albert Boime discusses it his book “The Academy and French Painting in the Nineteenth Century.”
.…the effet, a trait considered essential to a successful work of art. Although we generally conceive of the effect as a partially undefinable and abstract quality, in the academic pedagogy of the nineteenth century it was specifically identified with modeling in terms of the light and dark values
For another perspective Daniel Parkhurst describes a very similar process to what my two images show in his book “The Painter In Oil” under the section on still life:
If you have never had the chance to read it I would recommend doing so. To read the entire book online go here:Beginning. - The best way to make a study from still life is to begin with a careful charcoal drawing on the canvas. You may shade it more or less as you please, but be most careful about proportions and forms. The shading means the modelling and the values in black and white; and you can do this either in charcoal as you draw, or it can be put in with monochrome when you begin with paint. But you must have the drawing sure and true first; for drawing is position, locality. You must know where a value is to go before you can justly place it. The value is the how much. You must have the where before the how much can mean anything in drawing. It would be well to lay in some of the planes of light and shade, because you feel proportion more naturally and truly so than with mere outline. The outline encloses the form, but with nothing but outline you are less apt to feel the reality of the form. The planes of values fill in the outline and give substance to it. They map it out so that it takes thickness and proportion; it is more real. And any fault of outline is more quickly seen, because you cannot get your masses of shade of the right form and proportion if the outline enclosing them is not right.
The Frottée. - Make, then, a careful light-and-shade drawing with charcoal directly on the canvas, working in the background where it tells against the group, but without carrying it out to the edges of the canvas.
Be accurate with your modelling and values, and keep the planes simple and well defined. Draw all characteristic details, but only the most important, nearly as if it were not to be painted, but were to remain a drawing.
Fix this drawing with fixative and an atomizer.
In beginning with paint go over the drawing with a thin frottée which shall re-enforce the drawing with color. You may do this with one color, making a monochrome painting very thin, leaving the canvas bare for the lights. Many of the best painters lay in all pictures this way. What color is to be used is a matter for consideration. It should be one so sympathetic to the coloring of the whole picture that if it is left without any other paint over it in places it will still look all right. Raw umber is a good color, or raw umber modified with burnt sienna and black. You can make a mixture that seems right. This establishes your larger values, and gives you something better than a bare canvas, and something with which you can have a more just idea of the effect of each touch of color you put on.
If there is much variety of color in the various objects of your composition, it is better to make your frottée suggest the different colors. Instead of making a monochrome frottée, rub in each object with a thin mixture, approximating the color and value, but not solid, nor as strong as it will become when painted, of course. Nevertheless, you can get in this first rubbing in, a strong effect, which at a distance has a very solid look, though the relations are not so carefully studied. When you come to put on solid color with this sort of an under-painting, it is easy to judge pretty closely of color as well as light-and-shade relations, and you can work more frankly into it.