Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gaia/The Earth

Holst, of course, didn't include The Earth in his planets suite, and for what reason I don't know, but for me it is not possible to omit our own home planet. All the others are just lumps of rock, ice and gas but home is where the heart is. Where life is.

And the concept for Earth's personification arrived one day at Life Drawing Group in the shape of Clare - a beautiful young woman with Pre-Raphaelite looks and eight months pregnant:

Charcoal on paper, A2.
I have attended Life Drawing Groups over many years and this was the first time I have had the pleasure of drawing a pregnant lady. I knew immediately that Clare would be my Gaia.

Taking this original drawing as a starting point I began to modify and develop the idea of her holding her belly like a globe which I initially thought would represent in itself the world:

Design Study 1
Charcoal on paper, A2.

Since the Earth is the fount of all our existence, past, present, and future, I began think of her with children in her arms and around her feet:

Design Development Sketches

Pencil in sketchpad, A5x3.
Starting with a single child, then considering her with others, but finally coming back to her having only one child beside her, since there is only one satelite - the Moon. This is the study I choose to progress with.

But before I launch into final painting I need to warm up with a full-size painted study to convince myself that I have the values right:

Value Study
Acrylics on board, A2.
The placement of elements is as I want with the curvature of the Earth coming in from the top encompassing Gaia's head; the two figures of Mother and daughter almost full length, and the Moon's disc just behind her shoulder.

Satisfied with this I commit to painting in oils:

Final Painting
Oils on canvas, 61x42cm.

No comments: