Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Rest Of The Story.......

The previous blog dealt with the central image of a violinist for a suite of ten paintings requested by a collector.
In this blog I will put together the rest of the images. As I chose the pictures I had it in my mind that they should all face toward the center if he were the Soloist and the rest of the musicians were in the symphony. Here is were I had one problem....aside from just putting paint on canvas in a mature and direct way.
My client had requested certain instruments. So I looked through my file of what I had and traveled the internet for inspiration. I would say all of the paintings came out pretty much the way I wanted them to......except one. I had found a picture of a trumpet player. I really loved the image and could see it translated into paint immediately. There was only one thing wrong....he was facing the wrong way. What to do....I flipped the picture.....problem solved....right??? .......Nope...wrong! What happened was he ended up playing the trumpet in an impossible way because the instrument cannot be played that way....and I had completely painted it and thought it was fantastic (if I do say so myself)! As I brought it downstairs and out of the studio for Max and I to gaze upon and contemplate it's beauty.....Max, a trumpet player, noticed something. Yep....that's when I got the word....! Darn...darn...darn! What to do know? Only one thing....find another image and do it right!
I sent the image and an email to my client and explained what good conscience I couldn't let it out of the studio with it so wrong. My client emailed me back and said whatever I wanted to do was fine with him.....but he really like the painting anyway....felt it was very strong and I would have to agree. Well.....two weeks later after I had finished two more pieces for him......and what do you think happened? He still had to have the painting because he liked it so much! What's an artist to do??? Well....for me the truth never hurts, first of all. I did have another person interested in it...but explained the issue....and her son was a trumpet player also. So, of course she declined. In the long all worked out. Everyone is happy!
Lesson learned......if you are going to work from photos.....check everything twice and beware.....there really is no substitute for painting from life. I have done my fair share and still do paint from life or studies from life for the most part. I just didn't think about how most musical instruments (I am aware of a few left-handed instruments...but not many) are only played one way. It won't happen again!!! I have added the rest of the images in the progression they were done below. Let me know your thoughts!

The first painting and the inspiration for the suite was sold several months ago. When I painted this I had not thought about a series.
My client was inspired to order several more paintings in a symphony series.

The second piece...a pianist.....One of my favorites.

The third....there must be a conductor! Hands....arrgh!
I need good to have someone who has faith in the fact that I will just get better!

I next decided to get the big one out of the way. This is a 16x20 the rest are all 8x10.
This makes the fourth piece.

The client was anxious for a classical guitarist....this may well be the best one!
This is number five. I believe I am getting better!!!

Before I got to this one I had to stop on the series and produce a few other pieces and some other plein air activities. I did a still life with a stuffed turkey....more on that turkey later!!
The client requested woodwinds...I chose the Bassoon...I just like the shape of it! This makes number six.

My client then asked for a trumpet player. This is the painting that was wrong.....but sold anyway! He should be reversed. Number seven.

This is the replacement for the backward trumpet...also sold. I like it!!! Learning a lot!
Number eight.

Tuning the Timpani....number nine.

One left the harpist...she is giving me fits......:)
See you later,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Long Time No See............

"The Soloist" 16x20 Oil Sold

I was beginning to think (and you may have, too) that I may never blog again. There always seem to be so much out there to do, that I feel like writing a blog can be a complete waste of time.....but I do miss communicating on some small level. So here I am...yet again....playing catching up. To all you regular bloggers I have much admiration for you!
There has been lots going on (isn't there always) I will try to play "catchup post" from where I left off and go on from there. I believe I mentioned a step by step portrait? This piece was part of a series of musicians for a collector....nine in all. This was to be the central painting with 8 surrounding pieces. I am as we speak on the last one.
We as artists know that commissions are a strong source of revenue and a valuable tool to our learning. They can have a downside though...don't get me wrong I am extremely grateful and could not survive without them....but they can dull you somewhat creatively. Mostly because you are painting another persons vision and not yours. Fortunately my collector is patient and gives me lots of creative room. So on the whole I have learned an awful lot! It has been a very rewarding experience!

Some of the things I learned:
The value of doing many images of a similar subject.
Planning small canvases to their maximum and how to devise a series that will hang together.
Color and paint application. A constant learning process!
Work ethic and timely response. (I don't really have a work ethic problem....but staying on top of an assignment does take planning.)
The sheer value of just working.
Not seeing the image as a face, violin, trumpet, etc. but shapes of color, value and paint application.
How much more I need to learn!

Below is the Demo for "The Soloist"

The beginning....a quick pencil sketch secured with hairspray.
I don't like to get too detailed with drawing...and many times I just begin with paint.
Because of the violin, hand and face I chose to do some drawing.

Close up of the face and beginning with thin paint and various colors.
Skin has many colors in it....look and you will see green, blue or purple among others in the flesh tones. Trying to keep edges in the face soft.

Some more work and laying in broader shapes and background.

Continuing to work on the face and the areas around it.

The hands and violin started...checking the accuracy of the perspective of the violin.
The collar is done the face is 90% done.

Almost there!.....the jacket is finished , the bow needs some fine
tuning and the neck of the violin needs to be finished. Also the hand needs refining
and a tiny bit of work on the head with glazing and paint application.

Voila! The finished piece. Details worked out on the violin such as strings, keys, frog and moldings, glazing and some more tweaking on the face and hands!

Thank you to everyone that continues to sign
to my blog, support me via Facebook and my website,