Thursday, May 8, 2008

Surprise Underpainting

So yesterday I sat down to do a landscape (sans structures) and ended up doing this:

For reference, I used a photograph that I had taken of one of the other residents last February at the Vermont Studio Center. I have a stack of photo portraits that I took there sitting next to my easel and look at them longingly each day. Finally those feelings overtook me I guess. I will have to start another landscape though, still need a few more for the upcoming show.

But in the meantime, I had a great time with this and am exceedingly pleased with how it turned out. I added more detail in the face than I plan to portray when I get to the color, as it's easier to take away the specifics later rather than adding them, and while I didn't really intend to capture the likeness, it actually does look like Carole.

When I was finished, Doug came in and said it was awesome and that I should leave it alone-not add color. I quibbled with him, because adding color was my intent from the beginning. He relented and said maybe I should add color to the background and leave the rest. I like that idea, leaving it sort of unfinished and I am considering it, but I would have handled the underpainting totally different if I had planned to leave most of it intact. I suspect that I won't be able to stop myself from adding color, just like I couldn't stop myself from painting this image in the first place.

I'll let you know what happens. It is entirely possible that I will report back in a few days with a complete failure. At least I took a picture of it at this point because then I'll know that it did look good once anyway. Heh.

Also, it was great to do this on a larger scale as I could easily rub out the lights with my cloth technique. Here are a few close ups:


11 comments:

Stacey Peterson said...

Ooh - love this!! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

Melody said...

Love this......can't wait to see the finished piece

Katherine said...

It is awesome!

Susan Carlin said...

What a great start! I love the viewer's point of view on this painting... lends a sense of stature and solidity to your subject. Will keep watching...

Natalya said...

wow...

indiaartist said...

Wow! What is the size? I will keep tuned.

Chris Rywalt said...

Oh, baby, show us your underpaintings!

Tracy said...

Thanks everyone for the good feedback! The panel is 24x36-pretty big for me anyway, let alone doing a figure this size. Good grief, what was I thinking? Well, like I said it may be all downhill from here, but sometimes it's all about process right?!

gr said...

holy carp, you're something!

Martha Marshall said...

I love it as is! No pressure or anything.

Sus said...

You are such an honest, true artist, Tracy. Good for you! This is amazing as an underpainting. I am waiting to see what you do next.