Friday, April 16, 2010

The Moon/Artemis

Major breakthrough!

After a long, and sordid, battle with "Mars, the Bringer of War", which ended in a stalemate - no falls, no submissions, no knockout - resulting in a backing off, promising to "have a go" later when both parties are sufficiently recovered, a change of subject brings the results I am looking for!

Artemis, as the Greeks called her, or to us "The Moon", the only satelite of earth, and the only one on which Man has set his acquisitive foot. She is feminine and a beauty. She courses across the heavens pursued endlessly by Apollo, that masculine god of light forever chasing his opposite hoping to possess her.

The Moon is the largest satelite in the solar system:

Aristotle described the universe where the moon marked the boundary between the spheres of the mutable elements - earth, water, air and fire and the imperishable stars of Aether (personification of the upper sky) - space, and heaven.

Anaxagoras (Greek, 428BC) reasoned that the sun and the moon were both giant spherical rocks and that the latter reflected the former. His views got him imprisoned and exiled.
Oh, how we have progressed.
Or maybe not.

The starting off point for this subject was a pencil sketch made some time ago showing two female figures, but it is the right-hand figure that I focussed on:

Taking the right-hand figure and making a larger scaled study of her in Pastels:

As with all the projects, I need to do a value study to see the subject in it's simplicity, and to build up the design:

But, before I commit to paint, one last stage to explore the colour relationships:

Neocolour II's on paper, A2.

Then the final painting in oils:

Oils on board, 61x42cm.

She stands there with cold indifference, turned away from the hot-blooded Apollo who chases her, seeking her favour. She holds a bow in the shape of a crescent moon, with strung arrow pointing backwards towards Apollo dicouraging him from approaching too close. The Romans called her Diana "The Huntress" with her bow and arrows.

Apart from the original sketch, elements of this image (the raised right arm) are taken from a female model at Life Drawing Group, and the moon disc itself is the initial acrylics wash left untouched simply because i could not imagine myself recreating this bubbled effect any other way.

Flecks of tin-foil are pasted on to the crescent, up the girls dress, and on her face to emphasise that forbidding coldness.

The afro hairstyle just suits her.

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