Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You Can Leave Your Hat On

Last week's figure class was with the dreaded 3-hour pose.

Why dreaded? because - as opposed to short poses - a long pose pretty much guarantees that the model will go for the most comfortable position s/he can assume.

That ultimately means no creative poses, no spontaneity, no fun gestures. They just gloomily gaze into space, looking stiff, frozen-faced and formal, thus not very inspiring.

And so, the model (named Ogden) sat in a chair.

For three hours; that translates into many 20 minutes sessions with 5-minute breaks in between. Yup, same damn pose!

But - he had a hat on. And he had nice lighting on his face, so I went for a portrait.

I have to say, the more portraits I do, the more I realize that I am getting worse in the non-portrait parts, as in backgrounds and anything that is not a face.

Hmm... something to work on.


Daniel Bruckner said...

In this painting I see a reminiscent man. A man reminiscing on why he agreed to do a 3-hr pose.

What else could someone think about in the same situation for 3 hours? Unless he found himself attracted to one of the artists. Then he'd have three hours to come up with the most incredible come-on line.

Sandy Maudlin said...

The way you've described the bone structure in his face is exquisite! Yup. The background needs to be intergrated more with the whole painting, not a separate area.... Great job tho.

Anonymous said...

You nailed that thousand yard, three hour, minus ten minute break stare that you described.

Now, the way I see it, a portrait is about a face.
The face with planes, shadows, lights, darks, mood, expression, and your particular style of brushwork and wet, drippy suggestions.

It's a good piece, Nava, and sometimes if a hat or a wall doesn't come out the way your mind sees it, you have to acquiesce to the hand! The hand that holds the brush is sometimes the boss.

Brava for taking a 3 hour class. That's a significant amount of concentration.

Anonymous said...

I like the reflected glow on the left side of the face - and you certainly go beyond the photographic resproduction of the features and dig down to the soul....isn't that something to be proud of!


Nava said...

Daniel, he tried a come-on line with me, but it was lame. Maybe 'coz it was after only one hour.

Sandy, Thanks! I do like the face too, and this guy had an exquisite bone structure. And yes, I know - there is no such thing as "background"; it's all part of the painting.

Bonnie, encouraging as ever! it did take tons of concentration, and the time didn't seem to pass as I wasn't very excited about the subject. I guess it shows.

Valerie, "go beyond the photographic reproduction and dig down to the soul" - Yay!! that's exactly my purpose!! thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!! said...

Nava - you could paint for 20 minutes and move.

RHCarpenter said...

Nava, I feel your pain - those long poses that are just someone lying or sitting are so hard to get charged up over even if the person is attractive or just physically interesting. I like what you've gone with the face and hat - looks like one of the men in fedoras we see in the soup lines in the depression - tough, hard-eyed, strong jawed, ready for anything. Hard to believe he was an art model :)

Nava said...

Bill, Yeah - I know I could have done that. It was a personal exercise in perseverance.

Rhonda, Thanks! he did have that kind of expression... kinda. Actually, I think I put it on him. In reality, he mostly looked bore out of his mind :-)

Dar Presto said...

You found a good solution.
The light and your expression of his expression are great.

Nava said...

Dar, Thank you, and welcome to my blog!