Friday, April 22, 2011

Minji in Hanbok

Today's portrait model was a beautiful Korean girl named Minji. She posed for us wearing the Hanbok, the traditional formal Korean attire.  What a great opportunity and I blew it on several counts.
First, I knew our model was posing in something special, and I might want to paint the full figure rather than just a  shoulders-up portrait.  Knowing this I should have brought a large canvas.  I brought 16x20, which is simply not large enough, because at this size, her head is only about an inch and that is waaaaaayyyy too small to try to put any kind of detail. It made it extremely difficult to capture her beautiful features at all.
Second,  I forgot to bring my camera.  This was the perfect situation to start with the live model, and finish details of costume, background, etc. from photos later. Having no camera, I was forced to simply try to capture what I could in our limited painting time.

So, lesson learned. Come prepared, or, change plans. I should have probably just done the portrait, not the whole figure, but the Hanbok is such a lovely dress, I wanted to try to capture it. Still, having made my plan and refusing to change it, the result is pretty much nothing.  I couldn't capture her face because it is too small, and I oculdn't capture the details of her costume because there is simply not enough time in one session. So, I'm disappointed.

But, lest we take ourselves too seriously, here is a fun little video about portrait painting. This guy makes it look easy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Friend John

This is the latest portrait study.  I couldn't sleep last night, so got back up and wandered down to the studio.
I decided to try a quick portrait sketch, and selected a photo of our friend John from New Hampshire.
John was always willing to help whenever we needed something moved (we could have never loaded the moving truck without him) and is a general all around really nice guy.  We miss him since moving out west. He's a good friend.
He's probably glad there isn't any more heavy stuff to move and carry!

I painted this on a sheet of canvas paper.  I haven't tried this support before, but actually, it painted pretty good!  It is textured like a canvas, and has some sort of coating specifically for oil paint, and was nicer to paint on than many store bought canvasses or panels I've used. I think I'll use it more, especially for studies like this. I have a 12x16 pad of it, and it's inexpensive.  I suppose if you got a good painting that you wanted to frame, you could mount this on a panel just the same as loose canvas, or dry mount it at the frame shop.
This was maybe an hour and a half painting time before I finally got sleepy and went back to bed. I decided to leave the white background, which meant I had to get the drawing right the first time.