Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Figure Painting

This painting is from the Sunday Open Figure Session at PAFA that is run by my teachers Scott Noel and Peter Van Dyck. Every week during the semester a bunch of us students and Peter and Scott get together to paint the figure in a great communal atmosphere at school. Its much more informal than class and everybody just hangs loose, has fun and paints. You can ask for feedback, or not, just sit there and paint away and have fun.
This was my first go at painting a figure from life in a little bit since I have been doing landscapes a lot lately, but I always feel you have to change it up, and since I have also been working a lot with photography its good to go back to life. the paintings is in oil on museum board and roughly 24 x 36. The sessions run 12-4 and everybody chips in for the model so it only costs about $5 each. You can't beat that!
Peter decided to use this older paining as the canvas to paint over for today's session. He claimed that there were a few paintings underneath this one. He has a very casual way about doing these paintings and recommended a lot of use use museum board which is like mat board and throw a coat of gesso over it, its cheaper than canvas and I think he also feels this makes things less expensive but also less precious. Its interesting to watch peter paint and he seems to build his work up in sometimes a very loose and informal way, and then POW! Suddenly he pulls it all together. Peter will also use very odd or unique or "evocative colors" as Scott Noel world call them. In other words they don't seek to match exactly the colors as they see them in a literal way, but to interpret them in a more poetic way. It took me a while to understand this and then to work this idea into my own work in a natural way.
Here is Peter's painting after I would say and hour or so, I was pretty wrapped up in my own painting so I did not follow what he was doing as much this week.
Here is Peter's final painting and you can see how after a very loose beginning he had some "meat" on the canvas and then really started to build in a lot denser paint and work the cool warm to turn the form. Another thing that both Peter and Scott do is keep the value range very close. I tend to like a great value range in my work, and under the natural lighting we paint under the range will never be that great anyway. It was a great start to the semester and I really look forward to doing this every week if I can.

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