Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Working with a Plaster Venus Part Two

In my summer painting class, I did more work with the plaster Venus.  My goal was to work fast and scribbly, capturing shadow shapes.

I also played with different media, just for fun (and because my teacher said I could!).

So, first, I used some scrap kraft paper and a bright red pastel chalk.   The black line you see is something someone had started and abandoned.    I did this portrait and thought it was done.

However, my teacher suggested it would be stronger with white highlights on the face.  So I started using a piece of white chalk over the eyebrow and across the cheekbone.

He wanted me to try smudging titanium white acrylic paint on it, though, just to see what the effect would be.  So I did, because, hey, that's what scribbling is all about!  Give something a try!

You'll see below the difference in value in the white paint on mid-forehead, nose, lip and chin versus the white chalk above and below the eye.

I'm glad he pushed me to try both and learn the differences.

Next, I switched to a more fuschia chalk and tried a similar drawing on a different paper--a white Strathmore 400 drawing pad.

Super interesting to work on the mid-value kraft and then a pretty white paper.  Also interesting to see how the different textures of the paper made the chalk look so different.

I did another quick scribble on the drawing paper.  This time I used two chalks, one much darker, so that the fuschia became the middle value.

(These are 18 x 24, by the way, and completed in under five minutes each. I really was just experimenting with papers, media, contour and value.)  

After that, I decided to return to my favorite scribbling tools:  fountain pen, waterproof ink, and watercolor.  I think this is Daniel Smith sepia, which is a great paint for monochrome work because it mixes to so many different values.  This is on a piece of rough watercolor paper, about 4 x 6 in size.  

I worked more slowly on this piece--I think it took me as much time to think through and execute than all of the above combined.

Then, for fun, a final piece of work with the plaster cast.  This time, using only a brush and watercolor paint, I did the figure at a different scale.  I thought a bit about design (using columns and the rule of thirds, considering background color blocks and playing with freehand lettering).  For this, I really was just having fun.

What fun to tackle the same subject with so many different scribbling tools!  I had the luxury of a class and could do this work pretty much in one sitting.  That takes some stamina, but it also builds momentum and really allows me to compare and contrast my experience with the different art supplies. 

Still, doing a series like this over time would be interesting as well.

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