I’ve painted four nudes now, based on old life sketches and using a collage of hand made papers as the basic structure. I find it very hard to decide if I really like them or not. I study them a lot, so maybe that indicates something.
I adopted a very high tech approach with both of these. I pasted up the paper collage and photographed it. Then photographed the sketch and loaded up both images as layers in Sketchbook Pro on my tablet. Making the life drawing semi -transparent, I could see the collage through it. then I rotated the collage to see which layout seemed to suit the sketch best. Then I painted the image in that orientation.
The technique worked well, and by squaring up a print of the composite, I was able to transfer the drawing far more accurately than I normally can.
I hung my paper pulp girl on the living room wall and she looked good, but really needed a frame. I decided to make one, as professional framing is slow and really expensive.
Two lengths of wood glued together gave the basic rebate. I cut the mitres on a bandsaw and they gaped terribly, so quite a bit of polyfilla needed on all corners.A trial fit looked good, with about 1/4 inch shadow gap all round. I painted about five layers of acrylic over the whole frame, looking for a suitable finish. Ended with a slightly dulled metallic bronze, which nearly matches some of the colour in the painting, but not too close as to be drab.
Very pleased with the result. I have worked for hours on minor changes. A slight shadow under her bottom so that she is not totally lost in space. I thought there was something wrong with her head. I had painted it right up to the edge of the canvas. This looked odd, so I used white paint to re-establish the canvas, where it wasn’t covered in the coloured paper. This worked, so I went over the whole picture, painting out her body where there was a gap between sheets of paper. She looks as if she was assembled from the paper onto the canvas. She is finished, and looks fine in her glitzy frame.
Still not sure where I am going with these two, but there is something about them that I find irresistible. They are beautiful and amazingly contemporary when you cut out their original context. Venus in particular. There is nothing to give away her age. Olympia does look a little like a victorian governess. A very little…
Art classes have stared again for the second half of the term. In the mixed media sessions we were trying to use frottage to add texture to dry drawings. Basically bras rubbings as back ground. to give you some texture. A good idea, but my rubbings were so pale and I covered them with so much scribbling that you couldn’t really see them. It was good to work from real things. We had various bits of dried vegetation and I chose the teasles as they are local and important around here, being used in the weaving industry.
The big pictures were fun, but the two little ones of individual flower heads were better.
Build a sculpture out of a sheet of paper… It looked terrible and I didn’t keep it, but it was just meant as a starting point.
Draw it using lines, six times in six colours, all on top of each other.
I actually like this approach and I;ve done it with life drawings, but first time just as an exploration of shape. Sue said she liked it, it was very dynamic. Hmmm.
Then draw it just using tone. Charcoal and chalk on grey paper seemed to answer for that.
At least you can see form this why I didn’t keep it. It is actually quite an accurate drawing of “it”. I liked the frilly bits, they look quite frilly.
Then explore just parts of it with collage. I went for the Matisse cut out approach.
Everyone liked the last one in teh bottom right and I have cut it out and have it pinned up in my studio. Very different from anything else I have done before, which is a sign of a good class. No idea what we are doing next week.