Friday, December 11, 2015

Figure Studies and Re-Working

I've been working on some figure studies lately.  They've started in the life drawing and painting sessions that I'm holding in my studio.  This one was a straightforward exercise at first:

This is actually just a detail of the initial night's work - I'm not showing the parts I messed up!  Subsequently, we had the model come in for another couple of hours and I was able to make some improvements on the figure.  After that session was over, I started making some other changes as well.  I'll post the completed painting when it's done.

Last week, we had a new model, James.  He has a very interesting face, so I did a portrait of him:

Oil on panel, 16"x12"

This was largely completed in one 2-hour session.  I came back to it the next day to make a couple of very minor corrections and sign it.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

One other project that was on my easel this past week was reworking an old painting from my political satire series.  I did it ten years ago as a comment on the immigration debate.  With all the current flap regarding Donald Trump and his infamous wall ("a beautiful wall ... it'll be huuuuuuge"), my old painting needed just a few tweaks to make it current again.  So I pulled it out and started painting.  And then I stopped.  Why?  Well, to do good satire, I have to get really angry and then stay in that angry stage.  I was certainly angry, but I really don't enjoy it.  Also, the end result is very time-sensitive: wait a few weeks or months and the subject is overtaken by other flaps (scandal, another shooting, the budget, you name it).  So all the anger and all the work that goes into a satirical painting is old news in a very short time.  Not worth it.  I've got better things to do.

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