pictures and words by paul mccall

March 2007
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Ralph X 3
Filed under: Open Studio Painting
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 7:46 pm

For a change instead of taking my drawing gear up to the Indianapolis Art Center for the Fiday morning open model session I took my oil painting rig. I’ve drawn this model many times but until today I’d never painted him. The first one is the profile top left of this first canvas. That was a 15 minute study. The three quarter view on the same canvas was 25 minutes.

This second canvas was also a 25 minute pose and since I included more of the body the facial detail suffered. But I can use the first profile and go back into it for some restructuring and refinements.

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A couple from the Art Center
Filed under: Open Studio Drawing
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 4:43 pm

Last week (03/09/07) we had an excellent model. I did this conté crayon portrait then.

(”MaryAnne” conté crayon on paper)

This week I decided to keep going with the pastels after that commission mentioned earlier on the blog. This one is unfinished. I would have liked the model to resume the pose after the first 25 minutes but it was not to be. I’m liking the pastels better the more I use them. I have to try and move away from my tendency to overdetail all the areas (which I also do in oil painting).

(”Unfinished pastel” pastel on paper)

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An International Company Party
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 9:40 pm

This evening I drew for two hours at a Lilly Pharmaceutical Function. Here are a few of my favorites;

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Mexican Red Dress
Filed under: Open Studio Painting
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 3:21 pm

Thursday night at the open model session the model was the beautiful Mexican lady who brings such great costumes from her native land. I’d been wanting to do something with a dominant red for a long time. This is a oil sketch that took about an hour, excluding the breaks for the model.

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Digital Afternoon at the Eiteljorg
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 9:10 pm

Saturday I spent the afternoon in the Eiteljorg Museum for their Comic Book Day. According to the museum official in charge it was a great success, bringing in twice the number of people he had expected. I was doing digital caricatures, using my laptops and drawing/coloring the heads and placing them on pre-drawn bodies. Here are some of them.

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A Few From Friday Night
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 9:03 pm

Friday night I was at the Noble Evening at the Garden which is a private preview of the Indianapolis Flower & Patio Show. Here are a few from that booking.

An Unusual Commission
Filed under: Studio Painting
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 6:25 pm

This was an unusual commission on two levels. There was a time pressure, as this pastel portrait will most probably be displayed at the subject’s funeral. She goes in for a surgical procedure soon and only has a 33% chance of coming out of it alive. And even then the doctors only give her a few more weeks. So she’s been making her final arrangements. Unusual also in that I don’t work in pastels. I don’t like them. But considering the situation I did it. From a photo, of course, and unfortunately, only the one photo was provided. (When an artist has to work from photos it’s better to have several photographs from which to work that capture as many angles of the subject as possible.) Also the straight on pose isn’t the best choice but again, the time pressure.

I was surprised in that I enjoyed working with the pastels but I was also reminded of some of the aspects I don’t like. Blending the various colors at times seems to threaten to rub a hole in the paper (at least as I do it!). But this experience has shown me that pastels aren’t to be completely avoided as I have for about 45 years!

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B’day Caricature
Filed under: Studio Caricatures
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 5:10 pm

Here’s the latest studio caricature. I thought I’d post some progress images in case any potential clients are looking at this blog they can get an idea how my work process flows.

The client e-mailed to me photos of the subject and a list of what she wanted to see in the artwork. I took that information and developed this first sketch.

Incidentally, this, as with all my current commissioned caricature work is done in Corel Painter IX using a Wacom tablet and inking stylus.

When the sketch was approved, again, by e-mail, I created a middle tone gray canvas and “dropped” the sketch onto it. (The client asked for fully painted black and white hence the lack of color.) I then started laying in large dark and light areas using one of Painters acrylic paint brushes.

After all the darkest darks and lightest lights are in I started moving the middle tones around and blending, still using the acrylic brush. I used to use the airbrush tool but I’ve found that the acrylic gets the tones down much faster.
Almost finished.

Then I added in a couple more girls in the background and smoothed out some “hot spot” blobs of white making them more convincing highlights. And it’s done and delivered.

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