Saturday, August 30, 2014

Doreen: 6 Drawings

For a number of years, I’ve been drawing & painting regularly from a series of  very talented models. All of them have been adept at deciphering my vague instructions. They’ve also been strong and skilled enough to hold a tough pose with grace. Doreen, the subject of these drawings, has been an especially dedicated and  good-natured co-conspirator.

"Contemplative"- mixed media on paper, 12" x 9"

"Imitating Sleep"-mixed media on paper, 9" x 12"

People have asked about this mixed-media process. I came up with it through trial & error, though, inevitably, others have probably gotten there before me. I lay down a layer of gray acrylic, usually on Bristol, then draw the basic composition with black tempera in cake form. The tempera lines can be altered with a clean wet rag or a q-tip. Highlights and value shifts are added in white watercolor crayon, and everything is reworked with a wet brush. Though the drawing ends up with some of the qualities of a print, it’s a fairly unstable finished product (“fugitive” in artspeak) so I wouldn’t recommend it.

"Regarding The Viewer"- mixed media on paper, 12" x 9"

"Doreen In The Quilted Skirt 2"-mixed media on paper, 12" x 9"

For the six drawings included here, I've made good use of a faulty road map. In life-drawing or painting sessions, I try to store up visual information. Photographs are taken, cropped or otherwise manipulated, then reduced to black & white. The original drawings and paintings, the altered photographs, and my less-than-reliable memory are all sources for the construction.

To get to the final image, the model interprets the role, the artist misreads it, and the mood of the pose becomes a collective invention.

"A Public Privacy"-mixed media on paper, 7 1/2" x 5"

"Doreen In The Quilted Skirt"-mixed media on paper, 12" x 9"