Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Special Commision

My newest commission is from Jory and Gerry. It is based on a wonderful snapshot of Jory's parents, Hank and Kathleen Rose who obviously had a wonderful time camping, fishing, and rambling around in their convertible (with a rumble seat!) This painting was created using two photographs. One had Hank, the other had Kathleen and her brother in law. I simply place Hank in his proper place, next to Kathleen.

I spent quite a bit of time framing the photo in a way that I thought created the best composition. I then started the preliminary underdrawing.

Normally, any time there is a prominent vertical off to one side of a piece (in the form of the four-by-four pole, leaning slightly to the right), I go for it. But then, after laying it all out, I realized that the way I had framed it just wasn't good enough!!! I realized the true interest was the shapes of the boats off to the left. And So in order to show more of the boats, I shifted everything to the right two inches. By doing that, I also found that the became composition less cluttered. Here in this detail you can see the work of erasing and redrawing the image.
Since I am drawing directly on birch panel, I use a single-edged razor blade to scratch it off the surface.

This is a complicated image, so I spend a lot of time simply establishing where everything is. But I also have to be careful to stay open and not focus too much on the details. So I keep moving around the composition, and try no to get "stuck" in one spot or on one object. I start laying down color as soon as I can, so that I will always take the color into account when I am making drawing decisions.

Darks and lights...

Establishing the color scheme.