Saturday, March 7, 2009

Project 2, Painting 5 : Ugly Beauty

To complete this set I wanted to finish with a flourish, but didn't have any more sketches from The Sleeping Beauty, so I chose this sketch from the Trocadero series.

Having felt that I didn't do quite as well with Paintings 3 & 4, I wanted to lift myself up (metaphorically and psychologically, you understand, not physically on the end of some blokes hairy arms) so I set about these studies with some gusto following the same process as before:

Study No.4: Rollerball on paper, Sketchpad 1 (A4).
It took me four drawings to get to this one which I really liked for it's simplicity and style.

Then moving up in scale:

Study No.5: Neocolour II on cartridge paper, A2.

This just thrilled me! Sometimes the lines are effortless.

Moving on to painting:

Study No6: Acrylics on cartridge paper, 45x61cm.

Satisfied with the loose flow of paint and the values.

No holding back now, I start what I hope will be the final painting. I had been working well that day and was confident I knew exactly what I was going to do:

Start on final painting: Oil pastels on primed hardboard, 45x61cm.

I shouldn't get so cocky! This was the third attempt to get the initial drawing right. Since I don't like to "square-up" my design onto the painting board I rely totally in my ability to judge the proportions correctly first time...or second, or even third time. But that's what a clean turpsy rag is for - wiping the oil pastel off and re-stating till it is right.

Having eventually established the design, and also having spent a fair bit of time mixing suitable amounts of the main colours, I boldly lay on those colours starting with the ballerina's arms and head working my way down to the bottom edge in a series of almost uninterupted movements:

Final Painting: Oils on hardboard, 45x61cm.

I really think this one needs to be seen in actuality to appreciate some of the colours and textures (my photography is getting worse, perhaps I should do a blog about photographing finished artwork and how to get the best results?).Regardless, this painting does in fact bear close scrutiny and leaves me with a big smile and highly satisfied that I did indeed finish with a flourish!


Anonymous said...'s taken me a couple of days to get here (we are being dithered about by a lad called T.C.Hamish!)but I recall saying I liked the Trocadero sketch on the other blog.
When I manage to get something sketchy-but-recognisable, I always lose it when I try to paint it. Maybe I get bored with myself?

vivien said...

It's hard to keep the sketchiness i agree

This is definitely going places - you are abstracting more, playing with the shapes of the figures and you should continue to develop this series

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Yes I agree as well. It's something to strive for in painting - a looseness that captures the vitality of a sketch. I think the answer is probably to paint as though I was drawing.

While this series has been fun, Vivien, it really is now at an end. I have tried like mad (too hard?) to keep myself from progressing too soon into abstraction as shortly, in my next project(3),I will take a break from quasi-reality and turn my attention to pure abstract painting. Whether I return to these dancers for the final project (5) is something I have yet to decide, but distincly possible if I can resurrect my muse with the kiss of life!

Thank you both very much.

Melinda said...

What a grand series, David. You maintained a consistent level of energy in line, color and brush strokes. Well done. I agree with you on #5. It's full of a luscious variety of line.

Looking forward to seeing how you approach abstractions.

Be kind to yourself...and, every once in awhile, tell yourself that you are dang good!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks Melinda.

First, I'm going off for a few days to Milan to dip my toe in renaissance painting and architecture, and perhaps a bit of Prada and Versace. Then it's back to work.


Mary Ann Wakeley said...

I absolutely love seeing the progression here!! Just an awesome display of art coming to life before our eyes. xx

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks, Marianna.
While this series is not painted in the same manner as my previous, more recent paintings (eg: The Guardians, and my Dark Angel), I am satisfied that I have achieved what I set out to do for this course, ie; expressive figures in a consistent style derived from a consistent process.
Glad you like it.

So that's Project 2 completed, next week I turn 180degrees and start on the abstract project. Wish me luck, 'cause I'll need it!

Now I'm off to Italia.
Ci vediamo la prossima settimana.

(ps to Melinda: Don't know what 'Caio' means but if I find one in Milano I'll bring it back for you :o)

Melinda said...

Very funny, David....Caio, indeed. Why, my German Shepherd would make a meal outta one a' those in about ten seconds.

Looking forward to your abstract work too.

Have a fabuloso trip.

Melinda said...

Oh, yeah. I forgot. Mr. Artyfice said, "Loki LOVES Italian food!"

my croft said...

sorry to have been out of touch for so long -- Things have Happening.

I think the rendering of the tutu has caught the balance between the spontaneity of a sketch and the more careful rendering of the studio.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how your abstractions evolve.

And -- not incidentally -- thank you so much for sharing this process. I'm learning a lot by and from your example.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Hey Melanie,
I'm just glad you're still awake and following what I'm doing!
It's funny when you say you're learning a lot from what I'm doing, 'cause I don't think of myself as a teacher. But I'm pleased you say so, and if you get anything from my stumbling around in the dark then I am very happy indeed!
I know "real" life breaks into our cyber life, and sometimes either I don't know what to say online or I've actually got nothing to say. It's good to have a break every so often and come back when there is something good to tell the world :o)
Good to talk to you,