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Thread: Mostly oil sketches from life.

  1. #31
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    Doug- Thanks! You do learn a lot when trying to be very conscious of each stroke you lay down. I'd love to see what you've been up to since Terry's class. Keep in touch!

    hitnrun- Thanks! The sketches are a lot of fun to do!

    Art_Addict- I really do appreciate your comment. As you stated when you draw you use straight lines as a block in. And really all of these paintings are just drawings with paint. For me there is no separation between painting and drawing. I believe that line quality and paint application is just a means to an end.

    Ghostbrush- Wow! I'm glad to hear you see more in them than just portraits.

    Last edited by mattlinz; September 24th, 2009 at 09:51 PM.
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  2. #32
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    Here's a 20 minute figure drawing on newsprint from last night.

    Thanks for looking.

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  3. #33
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    Hey Matt!

    PM with your email and I will send you some pics.
    Later,
    Doug

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  4. #34
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    Well said, Tom. And for anyone looking for inspiration and guidance, thinking about this will affect how you draw the figure. Tom's given you valuable information.

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  5. #35
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    these paintings are so amazing!! very inspirational stuff thanks for sharing these.

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  6. #36
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    Maxine Schacker- I agree, Tom does make a good point, and it is something that I need to be conscious of while I'm drawing. I'm probably not the best person to look at for guidance on the right way to draw or paint. The only thing I would add, is we all need to be aware of what were trying to say when we paint. It's not enough to only be concerned with recording what we see accurately. Some of the most accurate drawings and paintings have no life. For me growing as an artist is most important. I have a long way to go, but it's great getting feedback from such talented artist as the ones on this site.

    Last edited by mattlinz; September 28th, 2009 at 09:44 PM.
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  7. #37
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    MeTaL-Mike- I really appreciate the nice comment you made!

    Take care,

    Matt

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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlinz View Post
    Maxine Schacker- I agree, Tom does make a good point, and it is something that I need to be conscious of while I'm drawing. I'm probably not the best person to look at for guidance on the right way to draw or paint. The only thing I would add, is we all need to be aware of what were trying to say when we paint. It's not enough to only be concerned with recording what we see accurately. Some of the most accurate drawings and paintings have no life. For me growing as an artist is most important. I have a long way to go, but it's great getting feedback from such talented artist as the ones on this site.
    When discussing paintings and drawings I find it important that we all speak the same language. When you say, 'no life' this may mean very different things to different people. I think we also need to be careful not to set up a false dichotomy by saying: accuracy = no life. Both can co-exist in a drawing. Also it is not because one strives for accuracy that he/she is compromising liveliness.

    When I was studying with Ted he used to say, "with each portrait we make, we make a portrait of ourselves." And I think this is true for each painting we make, there's no escaping our own biases and preconceptions. He also used to say: " we always look at things through the prison of our own individuality"

    For me that was a liberating concept. That it was ok to try and match Nature as close as possible and in order to do so, to constantly challenge our preconceived notions of what reality looks like. And in doing so, acquiring a growing set of means to express oneself.
    Very different from the popular notion in most art schools that you need to 'free' yourself (from knowledge?) in order to tap into a mode of true 'expression'. More often then not (in a figure drawing class for example), this way of working produced results that to my eye merely expressed people's own misconceptions and limitations.

    Matt, I'm merely mentioning this to make a point, I'm not implying that this is how you work!

    On the figure drawing you posted. All in all it's a nice sketch but I wanted to refer to my previous post where I mentioned concave lines as something to avoid since it doesn't reflect the appearance of human form. The underlying curvature or gesture may be concave but the form that is packed on top of that is always 'full' and convex. Notice the undersides of her left leg, the upper tie of the same leg, the line underneath her hip bone that is sticking out on her right side, the neck,.. Being more conscious of those marks in not making them concave will add to the lively character of your figure drawings I think.

    Hope you don't mind.
    Keep up the good work,
    Tom

    Last edited by Art_Addict; September 29th, 2009 at 09:29 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
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  9. #39
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    Art_Addict-

    Let me clarify what I mean by a drawing not having life. And I'm not suggesting that an accurate drawing= a lifeless drawing. I agree that we need to build a strong foundation in drawing what we see accurately, so we can learn to go beyond just an accurate drawing and really say something. What I see in many academic schools, are students filling in an external contour, termed an envelope. This envelope stiffens the drawing and is the reason many of these drawings and paintings are still, like a photograph that freezes a moment in time. They don't breathe or move. But life is always moving. I believe great drawing and painting captures what is essential to the subject opposed to rendering just the surface qualities of the form. More details does not result in greater truth or accuracy. But no I'm not suggesting that all accurate drawings and paintings are lifeless. I just think there's a slippery slope between a painting or drawing having life and no life.

    I agree with you 100% on lines blossoming outward and not inward on the figure, and that is something I will try my best to be more aware of. I know these are all things that I need to pay close attention to when I'm drawing and painting. Thanks for the reminder.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and keep painting I look forward to seeing your new creations!

    Take care,

    Matt

    Last edited by mattlinz; September 30th, 2009 at 03:57 PM.
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  10. #40
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    Again, and I won't derail the thread much further after this I promise... but, you're saying things that are very vague:
    so we can learn to go beyond just an accurate drawing and really say something.
    what does it mean to go beyond an accurate drawing..? Or to really say something..? Again, I think you're drawing the wrong conclusions and present opinion as fact. For example the envelope is usually a tool to establish the largest overall shape of the subject that you're drawing... an approximation of the very general height to width proportions. It also serves as a compositional tool to find a proper placement on your paper/canvas. It does not represent an external contour. but then again, it is not because one uses an external contour that the drawing is going to be stiff per se. Tony Ryder for example uses these methods/tools you describe. His drawings can hardly be described as stiff.

    Same with the envelope. It is not because one chooses a certain procedure that it will necessarily evoke bad qualities in the drawing.

    Stiffness imo is usually the result of improper reflection of the model's gesture. Has nothing to do with an envelope or contour being involved really.

    Anyway, sorry if I've taken the focus away from commenting on your work. Best to get back to that.


    happy drawing

    Tom

    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. #41
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    Art Addict-

    When I took a workshop from one of my favorite artists. She told us "to focus on interpreting what you see rather than trying to recreate it exactly," she continued. "We cannot physically recreate the model on a two dimensional surface, but we can carefully observe what we see, decide what defines the shapes and colors that give a subject its character, and turn those observations into suggestions on the canvas." She also said to avoid locking yourself into a preconceived idea of how it will turn out but rather let the painting evolve intuitively. She said "painting is all about leaving doors open in the beginning so you don't lock yourself into a predictable rendition of what you're observing." These ideas really made me think differently about how I approach painting and drawing. When I talk about saying something. I'm referring to what she said about defining what gives the subject it's character. And I'm not saying you don't do these things in your own work. I actually think your work has a lot of life to it.

    None of this is fact. And I hope you don't think what I'm saying is meant to be taken as fact, it's just my opinion, and the opinion of some of my instructors.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Keep up the great work!

    Matt

    Last edited by mattlinz; October 2nd, 2009 at 09:51 AM.
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  13. #42
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    Part of the problem is that it's too exhausting to talk about visual expression. It's easier to express what we mean visually. That's why we're visual artists and not writers.

    I do think, however, that we need to bring as many sense as possible to drawing and painting. Body language, empathy, tactile sensory awareness, all play a role.

    There I go with words again.

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  14. #43
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    Here's a new oil sketch from last nights painting session. About an hour of painting time.

    Thanks for looking.

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    Last edited by mattlinz; October 2nd, 2009 at 12:23 PM.
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  16. #44
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    Well done! One hour is a gesture painting, really!

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    Maxine Schacker-

    Thanks! I guess a gesture would be a good way to describe that painting. I'm finding it's a real challenge trying to paint only what's necessary.

    I've got a lot to learn. But I'm really enjoying doing these quick paintings.

    Thanks for your support!

    Matt

    Last edited by mattlinz; October 5th, 2009 at 10:53 PM.
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  18. #46
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    very nice job!!

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    A plein air painting from a park by my house. I have a lot of respect for people who are good at painting outdoors. It's super difficult.

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  21. #48
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    SKIDOO23- Thank you!

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    Matt-

    Very nice plein air of the bridge. Plein air is very tough but rewarding! Again, nice job!
    Keep it up!

    Doug

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  23. #50
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    great painting for 1 hr!! I'd like to do a life drawing thats longer than 15 mins but at our uni they wont

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    Kfeeras- Thanks for the comment!

    Here's another oil sketch from this weeks portrait session. 1 hour of painting time.

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    excellent work

    like your approach very much, some of the best stuff I've seen here, congratulations! one little criticism and I tend to fall into this trap myself, don't use the same color mixes for each situation. Even though the lighting might be the same where you paint, each person's colors are always different. Landscape painting is the greatest color training you can get, your bridge painting is very very nice, so keep doing those too.

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    lena murray-

    Thanks for the nice comment! I enjoyed viewing yours and John's work. It's really great stuff. Congratulations on the success of your school. It looks like you've developed a great program.

    Thanks again for stopping by to look at my work. I greatly appreciate the comment and crit.

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  27. #54
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    Great stuff i really enjoy this lastest paintings!

    Thanks for sharing!



    "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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  28. #55
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    Bushido- Thanks for the comment!

    mkmanoj- I agree that an oil sketch usually precedes a final painting. At the moment I'm using these sketches as purely a learning tool. Thanks for the comment.

    The first painting is an hour and a half oil sketch. And the second is a 20 minute charcoal.

    Thanks for looking.

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  29. #56
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    fantastic portraits, I really admire your use of colour and tone

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  30. #57
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    Hunin- Thanks!

    Here's another oil portrait sketch from last week. This is of a friends daughter who sat for a portrait at one of my local artist groups.

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  31. #58
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    Inspiring! Now I want to break out the gouache and do some studies! Great Stuff here!

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  32. #59
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    Wheeljack18- Thanks! I'm glad you like the work.

    Here's a new portrait sketch. About 1.5 hours of painting time.

    Thanks for looking.

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  33. #60
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    Hey the stuff is looking good. My only comments are you have a tendancy to elongate everything, especially facial features, so everybody seems a little pinched. And your light/color choices could be a little pickier to get things to really show form and plane changes. But good job, not easy painting from life.

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