Tag Archives: artist in Bruges Belgium

A Piece of Me #26, acrylic on panel. 21 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #29, acrylics

A Piece of Me #26, underdrawing in pen and ink.

A Piece of Me #26, underdrawing in pen and ink.

A Piece of Me #26, acrylic on panel. 21 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #26, acrylic on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

This panel presented an interesting contrast of values and hues. Strong black shirt and effects of light and shadow contrasted to a muted linen jacket and nuanced flesh tones. Additionally, the panel was untreated. I am coming to recognise this treatment (or lack thereof) presents a particular challenge to the painter. The paint is simply more difficult to manipulate.

Given all that I am pleased with the outcome. The jacket undulates, the shadows read, the flesh pulses. I wonder what time it is on that watch?

Overview of the entire project here. Technical write up of my use of acrylics for indirect painting in this project here.

A Piece of Me #44, acrylic over collage on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #44, acrylics

A Piece of Me #44, underdrawing in ink wash.

A Piece of Me #44, underdrawing in ink wash.

A Piece of Me #44, acrylic over collage on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #44, acrylic over collage on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A foreground composition from the whole assemblage. It happened very quickly, but that was because I had already done so much preparatory work.

At the substrate stage I had glued in a collage to reflect the movements and folds of my pants leg. That was a lot of fun and ended up being one of my favourite collages. Then at the underdrawing stage I laid in some black and white washes to reflect the strong value contrasts of the composition, see top right. I covered the whole panel with a coat of yellow ochre imprimatura  and set to work.

I mixed up three tints of gray in addition to the titanium white and began filling in the chiaroscuroed pants. I mixed up raw umber with a touch of ultramarine blue for the deep shadow, then laid it in with a brush and a small celled sponge. I increased the value-intensity-depth of the shadowed side pock-marks to enhance visual interest. After about a half hour I had what I was looking for.

Amazing what a little suggestion can do. Technical write up of my use of acrylics for indirect painting in this project here.

A Piece of Me #39, acrylic over linen on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #39, acrylics

The muted tonalities and textures of a pattern of floor tiles. Located somewhere in the middle ground of the overall composition.

A Piece of Me #39, underdrawing in pen and ink

A Piece of Me #39, underdrawing in pen and ink

A Piece of Me #39, acrylic over linen on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #39, acrylic over linen on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of creating this panel was the extent to which I did not use the brush. The lighter sections above and below were done with a highly flexible painting knife, while the dark grey and blue tiles were created though the sequential dabbings of a small celled sponge. It was only the grouting lines (and small touch ups) that necessitated the use of a brush.

So, open textures broken by linear graphical shapes, while neutral grey forms a pretty steady through line. From a purely chromatic point of view some people might feel that grey element to be a bit too somber for their tastes. I get it, but as a tonalist, I feel it creates a peaceful serenity – so I really like it.

Technical write up of my use of acrylics for indirect painting in this project here.

A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #27, the mixed technique

A piece of me #27, the egg tempera underpainting.

A piece of me #27, the egg tempera underpainting.

A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #27. the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

This panel represented a few challenges mostly due to the very dark shadow of the man’s gray/black pants leg. It’s a strong element, front-and-center, commanding attention. So I wanted to represent it accurately, but also I wanted to depict enough other dark accents surrounding it to encourage the circulation of light (or lack thereof). The ring and the shadow of my linen coat work rather well for that. But is it enough? The shadow is strong and also uniform. So I still may try to introduce some scumbled detail into those deepest leg-shadows after this level dries.

However, that is or will be complicated by another, technical complication. After I had started laying in some very dark gray pigment into the medium/glaze (in the pants leg), I found that the paint dried almost immediately (!) – too quickly to manipulate. In painter’s parlance this is called “sinking in”. This happens when the ground is too absorbent. In this case, I think the absorbency was caused by the combination of the linen fabric that I had glued onto the HDF panel as part of my substrate preparation as well as the siccative nature of the particular pigment (Payne’s Gray) that I had used in that area. “Sinking in” is remedied by a localized treatment of retouch varnish, which I applied before reworking that area yesterday. Though improved, when this area thoroughly dries I still may try to supply more balancing nuance (the scumble mentioned above). However, I am not dissatisfied with the result. I think the treatment of the linen jacket, the tile work upper left, the plaster wall lower left as well as the ringed fingers are delicious. So these are the comments of the-always-critical-chef.

BTW: sorry for the glare – that’s only in the photograph – not the image.

Full description of the whole project here. Write up on the mixed technique here.

A Piece of Me #17, mixed technique on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #17, the mixed technique

A piece of me, #17, the egg tempera underpainting over the india ink underdrawing.

A piece of me, #17, the egg tempera underpainting over the india ink underdrawing.

A Piece of Me #17, mixed technique on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #17, mixed technique on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

This panel was pure painter’s delight. Took me about an hour to do. My challenge: how to make a field of dark green with some slight shadowed undulations interesting

So I mixed up five shades from the deepest shadows to the highest highlights and set to work. And though I did use some lead white for the tints, I was also careful to make use of the white of the gesso substrate, too. This was done by using a fan shaped dry brush to brush the pigmented paint into its neighbor. When the manipulation was vigorous enough the dry brush tended to reveal the substrate – which made the whole panel more luminous. Finding light in the shadows. And relative to the composition, I was careful to introduce whatever hard lines it offered as a counterpoint to the amorphous fields of green. This is the result.

The whole is already more three dimensional than its underpainting. I’ll take it.Full description of the whole project here. Write up on the mixed technique here.

A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #52, the mixed technique

A piece of me #52, egg tempera over collage

A piece of me #52, egg tempera over collage

A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me, #52, the mixed technique over collage on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

One of the most interesting aspects of this particular collaged panel was my pants cuff. It projects a few millimeters from the rest of the composition (!). Really. During the oil level, I found that balancing the warm whites of my pants, socks and the plastered wall with my skin tone was all made possible by the value adjustments inherent to the composition (and the judicious use of a warm-gray pigment from the tube). BTW: I prefer my grays warm and I don’t mix them on the palette. It’s too difficult to consistently achieve an elusive neutrality (which may not exist anyway). Full description of the whole project here. Write up on the mixed technique here.

A piece of me #22, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #22, the mixed technique

A piece of me #22, the egg tempera underpainting over pastiglia

A piece of me #22, the egg tempera underpainting over pastiglia

A piece of me #22, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #22, the mixed technique over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

This panel was executed over a pre-prepared lightly sculpted pastiglia. On the pastiglia level I tried to create the effect of folds of clothing: the bends of my linen jacket and the flowing shirt of the lady standing behind me to the right. Unfortunately, due to my method of creating the pastiglia, a number of pinholes appeared in the gesso of the linen jacket. The oil was able to hide some, but otherwise it’s not an ideal situation, kinds like acne, you learn to live with the scars. The light jacquard pattern of the lady’s blue blouse was a nice surprise for me as I began to work on the enlarged image. Fun to render! Full description of the whole project here. Write up on the mixed technique here.

Figure Drawing, December 23, 2019

The model tonight was a lady named Angie. I scrawled her name across one of my drawings so I would not forget it. She is a large, jolly lady who I enjoy drawing. She takes good poses and seems to know intuitively what would be interesting for those of us on the other side. Below, two pastels on tinted Canson pastel paper and five charcoals on tinted sketching paper.

These drawings are posted much later than usual. They were done just before we departed Bruges for a three month trip – which became five due to the travel restrictions of the covid virus.

 

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in.

 

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Figure Drawing, December 16, 2019

Our model tonight was Melissa (or possibly Lisa, I’m not sure). Otherwise known to me as the-lady-with-the-glasses. She has thick thighs and a thin upper body. An interesting combination to attempt to capture. So here’s the catch of the night with my favorite in the spotlight. If you look at that one closely you will see the light (erased) pentimento from my first strokes. I almost had given up on the drawing (really!) but just kept feeling and probing until the figure began to emerge. It’s satisfying to pull something out of the trash – and finally make it work.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

Conté crayon on tinted Canson paper, 32.5 x 50 cm or 13 x 19.75 in.

 

 

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

Charcoal on tinted sketching paper, 35 x 50 cm or 13.75 x 19.75 in

A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A Piece of Me #37, the mixed technique

A piece of me #37, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #37, egg tempera underpainting on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

A piece of me #37, the mixed technique on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

Just finished this one yesterday. I was trying to create enough difference between my off-white linen pants and my oatmeal colored linen jacket. As you can see in the underpainting on the right there was little differentiation between the two. An additional challenge occurred with my knuckles upper left. I had done the underpainting (again, see right) in terra verte (green) so turning that into living flesh always presents its own challenge. All in all I was very pleased with the way the panel turned out, especially with my linen jacket. Very touchy-feely. That’s the aim. Full description of the whole project here. Write up on the mixed technique here.