Another afternoon spent in the break room of a company in downtown Indianapolis.
At the open model drawing session this morning the model was walking around looking at the results of his last pose. When he got to mine he asked if that was a caricature (he knows I do caricatures professionally). I said, “No Ralph, that’s what your head actually looks like. Someday I’ll do a caricature of you to show you the difference.”
(conté crayon on paper)
When he struck the next pose I decided I’d show him the difference between a portrait drawing and a caricature.
From then on it was business as usual.
My last effort at including the entire figure went well enough for me to try it again. Didn’t get the feet in but I was close!
I was also trying to think more of composition which is why included that interesting shadow and pushed the figure to the left of the canvas sheet.
Continuing my copy of the Sargent portrait of Colonel Ian Hamilton.
I laid in color in the background, military tunic and began work on the hands.
I haven’t seen all the models available in this town, but of the ones I have drawn this lady is the best. Interesting poses, and she can hold them the length of the drawing interval.
For the past 12 years or so I’ve been going to the Indianapolis Art Center open model drawing sessions on Monday mornings. Late last year I realized that having to get up and get out of the studio first thing Monday mornings derailed my attempts at staying in the studio during the week and getting work done. This year I’ve switched to Friday mornings and today was the first meeting. After this session I’m a firm believer in models wearing hats!
After the holiday break the regular Thursday night open studio painting group started up again this week. The model was a lovely Mexican dancer who brings in traditional Mexican dress in which to pose. This was done on a canvas pad sheet, hence the clips on the four corners. The device on the right edge is a carrier doo-dad.
It took about an hour, three 20 minute sessions with breaks.
One of the standard exercises of a developing painter is to copy the works of the great artists of the past. I’m a great admirer of John Singer Sargent, one the great painters of portraits, landscapes and murals.
This is my second shot at copying a Sargent portrait. (My first was his Teddy Roosevelt.) Here’s Sargent’s original of Colonel Ian Hamilton:
Here’s the second stage of my copy. (The first stage was the umber underpainting.)
I started with the face because it’s what interests me most and it’s the most challenging. Here’s a close-up.
Sargent’s portraits were, on the whole, very large canvasses. I’m working half size for a variety of reasons. I very much doubt that people these days have the wall space to devote to canvasses that can measure 6 to 8 feet in any one dimension. But I know I don’t and I like to have these things hanging around so I can study them over time and see my progress. Thus the smaller size, about 3 feet by 2.