Sunday, 12 December 2010

Oil Sketching

It was a blustery weekend, full of snow, ice, and warm company. I started my first oil sketch from some of the drawings I took in figure study class. I want to see how far I can go with just going off a sketch. I'm excited to see what I can do with this...

I thought that since this being my first portrait painting, I would finally paint over that first landscape painting I did 5 years ago (the one collecting dust and cobwebs in my closet.) My partner joked about how nothing is sacred for long with regards to canvas. I don't know what it is about painting over paintings, but it give me this strange sense of joy. If you were wondering, the original painting was of a church in a field. I thought it would be fitting to paint a naked woman over top of it...

Of course...fitting indeed.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


We had the final class in figure studies, working on chiaroscuro with the model Bob. After working primarily with women all semester, it was a little bit of a set back to work with a male model for the last pose. In the end, though, I was happy that I got this chance, because I realized that the male leg seems to have a lot of character. I was so excited with a foreshadowing pose where I got to work on the feet.

There's nothing like breaking out of your normal routine to give you flashes of new perspective...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Crunch Begins

I just realized that I have less than three months to prepare my portfolio for grad school. I’ve come a long way with my sketching, but I need to crank out some paintings to show I have the fundamentals to get into grad school. Oh, bucket lists how you save me!

I figured what I can do is write everything I need to do here and then show my progress once a week.

Here’s what I want to do:

• Three strong portraiture paintings (with one of them monochromatic)
• Two landscape (one nature, one urban)
• One still life

It’s ambitious and I will have to be working on multiple projects at once. I think I’m going to
take a nice 5 day weekend off in January to get a winter landscape done, plus finish up what loose ends I have.As of right now, I have 5 oil paintings, 2 ink drawings, 3 Graphite drawings, 3 Charcoal drawings, and 1 Watercolor painting. That’s 14 works with 5 of them being portraits. With the 6 I have planned, it will bring me up to 20 works.

Phew, who would have thought I could have done all this!!

Ok, So these are the steps I will need to accomplish all this:

1. Start converting my current sketches from figure studies class into oil sketches as practice this week.
2. Buy some good flood lamps for the studio (mix of incandescent and fluorescent)
3. Make a canvas carrier out of foam core for transporting paintings during my trips.
4. Find three models (I’m debating on paying professional models here)
5. I will need for each model – at least 6 hours. 2 hours of sketching time to make an extended sketch for reference, and 4 hours of painting. Since most models take 30 minute poses with 10 minute breaks. I will need either 2 x 3.5 hours sessions (breaks included).
6. For each portrait painting, I’m estimating 4 hours of additional painting on my own, with sketches as reference.
7. The Landscape paintings should be able to be done in one session. I can do one of them in Columbus, I just need to find a good location so I can get warm frequently(perhaps paint from a friend’s window). I could also think about taking a road trip down south and couchsurf with someone while I get these done. I will have to look into my options.
8. I would like to get a nice skull for a still life. (Looks like that will be my first Solstice Gift to myself!) I was thinking I could do a fabric study, with skull and dried seed pods as a still life. This is something I could work on in my extra time at the studio at home.

I have 12 weeks to get all this done. So breaking down the weeks:

Week 1 (12/5-12/11) – Finish Figure study class, start doing oil sketches, build canvas carrier, buy lights, reach out to models and schedule times, buy a tube to carry around sketches, buy still life materials (skull, fabric, dried flowers).

Week 2 (12/12-12/18) – Start doing preliminary sketches on Model #1 (it’s my husband, he just doesn’t know it yet!)

Week 3 (12/19-12/25)– First Monochromatic painting started (I’m off for Christmas, so I will have plenty of time to devote to this first piece). Spend some time setting up still life and starting on that.

Week 4 (12/26-1/1)– Finish Monochromatic painting and finish still life

Week 5 (1/2-1/8)– Start sketches with Model #2

Week 6 (1/9-1/15)– Finish painting with Model # 2

Week 7 (1/16-1/22) – I have Martin Luther King Day off, so taking a week vacation that week.
Complete both landscape paintings on that week. Schedule time with last model.

Week 8 (1/23-1/29)– Work on sketches with Model # 3

Week 9 (1/30-2/5)– Finish painting with Model #3

Week 10 (2/6-2/12)– Spend the week finishing paintings

Week 11 (2/13-2/19)– Work on taking photos of works. (Need natural lighting lamps and diffuser)

Week 12 (2/20-2/26) – Write essay and complete the application.

Well, here goes, let’s see what I can accomplish!