I finished this lady some weeks ago, and liked her very much, but I was never happy with her head. It’s too big overall and her facial features are just too heavy and masculine.
I tried various alterations but never satisfactory. Hard to match the pastel finish in any case. So I went back to basics, and painted out her face with gesso, to start all over again.
That gave a good drawing surface, but that doesn’t guarantee a good drawing. Try as l might, the face still eludes me.
So extreme measures called for. I’ve finally decapitated the poor girl and will try all over again. Not sure how it will work. I was tempted to paint a brown paper bag over her head, but that seems a shame. Maybe a Modigliani mask? We shall see.
Drawing a model who looks like a benevolent pirate. Started out by splashing acrylic paint all over the paper. Once that was dried, drawing the figure in charcoal and a little colour. Aiming at detail in just selected areas. The first attempt was awful, but these three are not too bad.
I think she is wonderful. It is the contrast of her completely modern body against that fabulous backdrop of egyptian hieroglyphics that always catches my eye. This is what ancient Egyptians must have actually looked like. How Klimt got away with her flaunting herself like this on the main staircase into the new Royal gallery I don’t know. The Viennese were so messed up about propriety and sexuality. I can see why Freud had so much fun getting old Wienerins to talk smut to him. It’s an endlessly fascinating city.
I saw a stunning statue of Eve by Thomas Brock, in the Tate Britain gallery last week. One of those beautiful Victorian nudes that were deemed “acceptable ” because they were supposedly biblical or mythical.
Edouard Manet slapped that hypocrisy in the face with Olympia, who was just a naked woman. But Eve is beautiful. I have tried two pastel studies of her, neither of which I am satisfied with, but they are getting there. In theory she is pure white. In reality, nothing is pure white.
Another Tuesday life class and a female model at last. We were working in coloured pastels, which is my current medium, so I was pleased.
First a four short warm up poses, trying to establish the basic forms as quickly as possible.
Then two long poses, about half an hour each. I tried out the linear, non-blended style, which is tricky with a body, but I still like the vividness of the colours. It would work better on coloured paper.
Finally, four very quick poses of just five minutes each. These can often work out well. No linear stripes, they take time.
So all in all, ten drawings in three hours, which is not bad going.