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  1. #1
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    Aug 2004
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    Portraits and other work

    Hi CA,

    I wanted to share with you all some of the things I didn't get around posting before. I will try and update this thread with new work and paintings in progress.

    The first one is a relatively quick study i did of my friend Toby who was posing at Tony Ryder's studio at the time :

    Name:  Toby.jpg
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    This was a preliminary portrait drawing I did for a painting that I never got around to finishing. Hopefully I will get to someday...
    Name:  Wouter reading.jpg
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    This Rubens drawing blew me away. It wasn't until I started copying it that I realized how freaking awesome this guy actually was! My god! This pose is intens. Copying from the masters truly is a conscious raising experience.
    Name:  Rubens copy.jpg
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    And this last one is a SP that I started back in San Fransisco under incandescent light. The colours are a bit wacky.. and I hope I get to finish it if I can get the lighting setup to mimick the original conditions... Most of the painting is still covered in a loose underpainting with the opaque and final paint layer only visible on parts of the face.
    Name:  Self portrait with brush.jpg
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    Last edited by Art_Addict; April 23rd, 2009 at 08:23 AM.
    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  3. #2
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    Jan 2009
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    Whoa, nice! Figure drawing is a bit flat in my opinion, especially head. There are no feel of depth, but that's only my opinion and emotion.

    The painting of Toby is my favorite here. I love the way you accent his interesting and elegant face contour. Face painted so strongly that eye don't want to travel at the bottom where is unfinished skirt. Good picture, honestly :-).

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  4. #3
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    tokszmogus : Thank you for your comment. In my defense of the figure drawing, the focus wasn't to model form here but rather to study the specific structure of large to small masses and action and intention of the pose. The drawing of Rubens originally was done with black and white chalk, with white being used for highlights. Mine was done in graphite. Modeling the form would have meant filling in the white of the paper and would have risked taking away from the reason for copying this drawing in the first place.

    Here's another little portrait sketch in oil:
    Name:  Melissa.jpg
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    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  5. #4
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    Beautiful work, indeed. I also learned a lot about the human body (and realized the "depth" in his painting) when I studied Rubens. Truly one of the greatest.

    Your art is impressive and inspiring to me. Looking forward to seeing more of it. :-)

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  6. #5
    good portraits. I hope to see some more stuff.

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  7. #6
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    Cool, I haven't seen the last two The self-portrait is strong. I wanted to ask you if you've ever painted directly on wood. Keep on posting!

    Stephen

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  8. #7
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    Aug 2005
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    I like it, but you already know that.

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  9. #8
    wicked bro!

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  10. #9
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    Oct 2007
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    My home is Dallas, TX. However, I go to school in Detroit, MI.
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    Well, to start, tokszmogus is correct about the figure drawing. However, I have to argue that the preliminary portrait is strongest due to the fact you captured the value VERY well in the face. It's great just the way it is, unfinished (sometimes those are even better, according to master painter Richard Schmid and a few others whose name I forget). Heck, it even reminds me a little of Casey Baugh's charcoal work.

    Also, your self portrait is powerful, I want to see it finished!

    My only true critique is this: when painting from life, there is more red in the nose and cheeks (check out Norman Rockwell's work), blue and purple in the jaw bone area and yellow in the forehead, naturally. This is very hard to see unless you purposely look for it, but I guarantee it makes all the difference. Most of the time these colors are extremely subtle (except for red in the nose), and takes great time and patience to capture correctly.

    I'm only applying this critique to your shorter life oil painting of Tony, not your self portrait, since you obviously had more time to capture the colors.

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  11. #10
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    Mindbendermind : Thank you, yes Rubens is the man!

    FallenGodX11: Thank you!

    Jens
    : Thank you!

    darkwolfb87: Hey Stephen! You ready for the fall course? The group they have is awesome! And no don't think I ever painted directly on wood.

    Hyskoa: Cheers dude!

    Zarahn
    : Thanks bro! Post your SP here!

    majiinakuma: Thanks for your comments and taking the time to crit! True, the portrait of Toby is too monochromatic. In reference to the color suggestions... I do feel often times working up and down the value and chroma variations for the yellow-red spectrum gives me a huge range of mixtures to work with for the figure/portrait.

    Here's a still life WIP I've been working on (sorry for the bad photo quality) and the older SP WIP that I might post in here too with the poster study that serves as a general relationships guide :

    Name:  Allegory_Antwerp.jpg
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    Name:  SP Antwerp 6.jpg
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Size:  49.0 KB Name:  SP Antwerp poster.jpg
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    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  12. #11
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    Great work man! That first SP you posted is fantastic! love the way you make your brushtrokes more defined in your face, and more crazy towards the edges. Good focus! The still life WIP is also good. Is the second SP a tribute to the portraits of old? Which artist in particular?

    "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu" | SB | Portfolio | FJGC (blog) | DA (Profile) | EJERCICIOS DE COLOR
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  13. #12
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    Very inspirational work here
    Did you take any of the the Tony Ryder workshops?
    I live in new mexico near his atelier and in debate on trying to go there or an art school and was wondering, if you did go how your experience was?
    Keep having fun learning and observing. -Jamie

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  14. #13
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    Jens: Thanks dude! The cloth was and still is quite a challenge, especially trying to keep hold of the chroma in the lightest areas. And yes I will be teaching a portrait drawing workshop here: CC Sint Niklaas

    Gringo: Thank you! Yes, the latest SP is a tribute to portraits of the past. I'm mimicking a pose of one of Van Dyck's self portraits. In the background is going to be a cityscape of Antwerp. I grew up in and around the city there and thus have an emotional connection with the town and its great artists of the past.

    Omerta: Cheers! I can very much recommend taking classes with Tony! He is a very generous and extremely kind teacher! At the moment I think they are on a break but you can easily swing by and take a look at the studio. Normally Tony and or Krista, his assistant will be there to show you around/ give more info. You are so lucky to live there man, I for one would not hesitate to study there for a second if I was in your position!

    A copy after Simon Vouet:

    Name:  copy after Vouet.jpg
Views: 2585
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    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  15. #14
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    I like this. Clean your edges up though. There are parts where it might just be carelessness or laziness but it does show sometimes from object to object.

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  16. #15
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    Samuel Gray: Could you clarify what you mean with your comment on edges? Thank you.

    Quick 2 hour oil sketches, (sorry for the bad photo quality) :

    Name:  Alyssa.jpg
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    Name:  Couteleau Farm.jpg
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    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  17. #16
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    A copy after Michelangelo's Libyan Sibyl. I still have some stuff to correct but all in all I was pretty happy with how it turned out and it was a tremendous learning experience. Graphite on paper:

    Name:  Lybian Sybil copy.jpg
Views: 2274
Size:  62.1 KB

    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  18. #17
    Hi future teacher
    Thats so awesome ! all of it
    The last drawing is really amazing, how long did it take you to draw that ?
    Must've been a pain to render it , no ?

    (btw , its me steven :p )

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  19. #18
    Hi future teacher
    Thats so awesome ! all of it
    The last drawing is really amazing, how long did it take you to draw that ?
    Must've been a pain to render it , no ?

    (btw , its me steven :p )

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  20. #19
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    Hi Steven!

    Usually I work on multiple things at the same time so it becomes a little difficult to say exactly how long I spent on each one. I worked on it a couple days, on and off. Since this drawing is so sculpturally complex, 'rendering' it in terms of light & dark isn't that difficult. It is trying to make the figure as structurally informed and have everything line up on the inside of the body which makes copying Michelangelo an enormous challenge. With sculpturally I mean that these drawings are more focused on the structural makeup of the body rather then representing an optical image.

    Here's an update on the still life:

    Name:  Stilleven.jpg
Views: 2044
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    www.tomvandewouwer.com

    "There is no such thing as 'accurate drawing'. There is beautiful
    drawing, and ugly, and nothing else." JAD Ingres, Ecrits sur l'art
    (1780-1865)"
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  21. #20
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    That still life is coming along really nicely. Looking forward to seeing future paintings.

    Sketchbook
    Old Sketchbook
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  22. #21
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    Nice stuff. Your still life is looking fantastic.

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  23. #22
    Saw some of your work on the art fair in Utrecht! Looking good. I thought I'd seen it somewhere before

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  24. #23
    You have some really nice paintings in here! The only suggestion I would make is try not to paint your backgrounds around the head but try to paint the head and the background as one thing. It will help unify the head with your background more. This could also be achieved by using more lost and found edges. I look forward to seeing more!

    Keep up the good work!

    Matt

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  25. #24
    The landscape above has a great sense of light. Was that a plein air painting? If so good job! Plein air painting is very difficult.

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  26. #25
    Beautiful work tom!! Love the landscape!

    Last edited by Zarahn Southon; November 12th, 2009 at 02:30 PM.
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  27. #26
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    Tom--

    Really strong work, here. I'm a big fan of the 2 SP's & the barn landscape. I also love the Ingres quote...a pretty damn unassailable truth!

    See you around,
    Nick

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  28. #27
    not a lot of painters who can use colors *and* draw well.. congratulations!

    ahh that first drawing in your post is just great!!

    josvanr

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  29. #28
    Great stuff!

    I have the same book of van dyck



    "The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has."

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  30. #29
    Congrats on your win with ARtists ( i think that was it) magazine! PS there is NO doubt in my mind that the guy I play frisbee with three times per day (M. Tobias Hall) is the subject of that first portrait!!

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