The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started August 9th, 2012 in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Flesh, Failure and Burnt Sienna

Apparently I have to relearn painting every time I paint the figure.  I Started this oil a week and a half ago.  The premise was a painting where you would "feel" the flesh.  I had a 22" X 28" coarse linen canvas and the perfect model.
Day one with model

The first session went well.  The lines had energy and I thought the tight cropped composition would work .... maybe not.

Working day two without the model on the background and filling in empty spaces the painting washed out and went dead.  The canvas drank paint and the composition turned problematic.  Is it possible to feature breasts too prominently?

The second session with the model I tried adding a little burnt sienna to saturate the tan flesh.  It infected the entire palette and now I have a dull brown mess.

Second model session

I have faced this predicament many times over the years.  Continue working a problematic painting or jump ship and start fresh.  There is no clear answer.  I've worked paintings over months even years.   Some result in "successes" and others just consume paint, time and life force.  I suspect this painting is the latter.  I'll give it one or two more sessions to see what if anything can be learned. 

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