Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Reclining Nude, Backlit

copyright Pat Aube Gray

It has only been in the last couple of years that I have done any life drawing from a nude model to speak of. While I love to do figurative works, my concentration has always been on the clothed figure, finding challenge and interest in the selected clothing and folds, and textures of the materials. But I do enjoy the challenge of the human form, with all its subtle tonal and temperature variations. This one is graphite on a grey paper, with the backlighting heightened with white charcoal.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007


copyright 2007 Pat Aube Gray

This is one of the students in my Thursday morning class painting a fantasy image on a pretty large canvas! The dinosaur is hidden by the artist, Sharon Mullings. It was a small class of painters who don't need minute to minute instruction, so I decided to paint along with them, parking myself behind Sharon and painting her without her knowledge at first! When her husband came to pick her up at the end of the class, he said, "Everybody will know who that is! Those are your legs!"

5 x 7 on Ultra Panel


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Silk Amaryllis - Oil on Sanded Wallis Paper

Copyright Pat Aube Gray

Jessica was painted at a weekly life painting session held at my teaching studio, where several artists come to draw or paint from models. I don't teach at these sessions; I get to paint like everyone else! I loved this set-up with the large silk amaryllis, which adds interest to the composition and inspired the red and green complementary color scheme. I really enjoyed painting this one, which I did on 11 x 14 sanded paper made by Kitty Wallis. Though the paper was developed for pastel work, it is wonderful for oils as well. The paint is absorbed into the paper and dries quickly, but does not sink in as one might expect. The finished painting has a wonderful surface, almost like moleskin. You have to use old brushes, though, because this paper chews them down to nothing in no time!

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More Portrait Parts

I'm making some good progress, though not as quickly as I'd like. Life seems to get in the way of painting time way too often!
In case you don't know, if you click on the photos you can see an enlarged image!
The hand is still only roughed in and while the head is more than roughed in, it is certainly not complete. I glazed over the too-red hair underpainting with its complement, green, to dull down the red some because I find it way too distracting and throws off my choices for other areas. But it is still far from done as well.
I opted for a green shirt instead of the blue he actually was wearing for three reasons: it is more compatible with what his sister is wearing, it is more harmonious with the painting, and knowing where it will hang makes this the better color. Shirts are still not complete, but made a giant leap here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Working on the Boy

I've worked now on the face as I don't want to put a ton more effort into the clothing and the background until I am comfortable that I have a good likeness going. This is only the first round of working on the head. That will continue throughout the painting process until it all fits together well and the boy looks like he could turn and talk to you. His hair is merely blocked in with mixtures of burnt sienna, burnt umber and some yellow ochre. But his hair, though it has some red in it, is not nearly as red as it is in this underpainting. I will work next on his hand and get the clothing going and also start to put some of the detail in the background, a few more trees between him and the distant hedgerow. In case you can't tell, that's a skateboard he's holding onto. Most important thing in his life right now!

With the exception of modifying the background as I work on the boy's painting (to keep them well harmonized), I won't begin the girl's head and body, etc. until I feel the boy is 99% complete.
See the last post for the last pics I posted of the two paintings.

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