Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Triumph - Day 1

Day 1, Oil on Linen, 72"x 96". 2017 
The final push of school is getting palpable. I am really happy to get started on this large painting.

Today was our final group critique with my thesis advisor Peter Drake. It was a lot of fun. I am really happy with the amount of work I've been able to get done.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Alison 3/16/17

Alison 03/16/17, Oil on Linen, 36"x 60", 2017
Bernardo's class opened with a lecture on Raphael.

This painting has a real presence to it. I am starting to get the hang of this particular painting technique.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Alison 03/02/17

Alison 03/02/17, Oil on Canvas,  30"x48", 2017.

Bernardo's class opened with a lecture on Michelangelo and Leonardo. They really play off each other thematically. Aristotelian vs. Neoplatonism, atmospheric haze vs. solid form; plenty of discussion to be had. 

Think I'm getting the hang of this painting method. Not closing the shapes is super difficult for me, but I think I did okay with this one. I keep visualizing the painting,  like a net or a bowl where the surface of the form is this shape. Then thin points in the painting read like holes in the net. So each pass of paint and marks becomes trying to fill in those holes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Large Painting #4 - Day 3

Figures #4 -  Day 3 , Oil on Canvas, 72"x48" 2017. 
Third day, working with the dead palette again. Major focus was defining the second figure.

The central figure looks kind of stiff. Its some problem with the drawing of his legs.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Large Painting #4 - Day 2

Figures  #4 -  Day 2 , Oil on Canvas, 72"x48" 2017. 
Today I started the dead palette (yellow ocher, flesh ocher and cold black). I spent most of the day blocking in the space and the major figures.

The biggest change is to the second figure. I reshaped an earlier maquette into this pose and blocked it in the outline.  I am finding working this particular way that it is easy to lean on distortion and anger for an emotional response. Its really easy to tear apart of break the form. I wonder what is the extent of this emotional vocabulary.

Its starting to pull together.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Large Painting #4 - Day 1

Figures #4 - Day 1, Oil on Canvas, 72"x 48", 2017. 
This is the fourth of the 5 paintings that I'm working on for my thesis,

Working from the clay models then translating them into a painting has been very productive.

I am working from a few small study drawings that lead me to this image. Standing in front of the 6 foot image the half figure is a little less interesting and reading very zombie movie. The distortions of the figures im trying to make them look less gory more that is an intrinsic state of the figure.

Today I toned the canvas with Cadmium Red then worked in Raw Umber for the initial under painting.

I think tomorrow im going to start on the dead palette.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Il Papa

Il Papa, 9"x12", watercolor on paper. 2017.
Got a commission from a friend to do a watercolor for his mother's birthday.  It is a pretty straight- forward picture of the pope. This was an easy commission, given my Catholic upbringing.

It's photo-based so there is not a lot to write about. I did make an active effort to make the pools of watercolor rhythm across the page. My illustrator skills are getting stronger.

I did get to see Pope Francis last year when he was in New York. I do like the general change of direction he represents. Plus, he's a Jesuit and St Francis is a great namesake AND the subject of an amazing Bellini painting.

“In the face of unjust and painful situations, 
faith brings us the light which scatters the darkness.”
Pope Francis

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Anatomical Drawing Long Pose - Day 3

Anatomical Drawing #1 - Reign and Dave, 18"x 24", Graphite on Paper, 2017

Day three of the long pose is all about details.

Dan Thompson's lesson today was all about the knee so it felt only right to focus on the knees of the models. This drawing is great for comparative purposes. There is a lot of difference between the male and female model's knees.

There is balancing act  between what is there observationally and what should be there. The puzzle of observing a body and relating it to a theoretical system individual to the artist. Keeping it interesting is always the challenge of these poses.

Before class next week I hope to get the background nailed in.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Large Painting 3 - Day 5

Figure 03, 6'x4' Oil on Linen, 2017 
Currently working on this painting, but finalized the external space of the figure. Now gotta re- emphasize the figure. Should be a couple days of work.

"More of me comes out when I improvise."
Edward Hopper

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Master Class - Lou Marinaro - Day 2

So after Day 2 of the Master Class by Lou Marinaro, I spent a little longer with the sculpture I was working on and really like the results.

My first impression after this experience was learning how difficult it is photographing sculptures. The strength and quality of the light effect the sculpture in really different ways. I have a new appreciation for how difficult a job this is. I mean, take the pair of photographs below as an example.

I really am not sure which one is objectively better. This becomes all the more complicated once I run the photograph through Photoshop. 

The other pictures are other views of the sculpture before I alter it to make a painting from it. I am thinking of adding another half armature to this sculpture. I am excited to get moving further on the project.

"The longer you look at an object, 
the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real."
~ Lucian Freud

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Master Class - Lou Marinaro - Day 1

30" Plasticine Sculpture
On of the best master Classes I attended last year was from Lou Marinaro. His knowledge and understanding of Anatomy is infectious and he explains thing so well.  This year there was an opportunity to not only take the class again, but to severe as a TA and I jumped at the opportunity.

The class toggled between sculpture and systematic talking about muscle groups of the body. Lou divided the body like something out of Butcher Shop 101, talking about individual sections and the muscle skeletal interaction that define that location.

This is what the scuplture looked like after the end of Day 1:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Anatomical Drawing - Long Pose Day 2

Anatomical Drawing 1 - Reign and  , 18"x24", Graphite on Paper, 2017
Anatomic drawing with Dan Thompson-- this is Day 3 of class and the second day of this long pose.

Dan structure his class with a lecture then a demo and then a long pose for the rest of the class.

The drawing is progressing nicely. I have the major forms in and now need to work on the details of the smaller forms.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Class Finished Reconstructions

Our 2017 Forensic Sculpture class with their finished reconstructions. Thank you to the NYC Medical Examiner and instructor Joe Mullins.

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 3

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 3,  Oil Paint over Shellac and Ink, 18"x 24" 2017
This is the third of these drawings. I took a large couple chunks out of the sculpture, literally cutting out huge chunks at leaving the remains hanging from the armature.  I am really liking how the figure distorts and then seems to collapse.

I have to create a second figure and then add it to this scene.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 2

Study for Large Painting 3 -  Drawing 2, Oil Paint on Shellac and Ink, 18"x 24", 2017
So I worked with the same clay sculpture and did another drawing from a different angle.  I working on defining more of the sculpture I have two immediate thoughts.
  • I am going to need to add another figure to the mix 
  • I think the breaking down of the figure has to be more obvious.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 1

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 1,  Oil Paint over Shellac and Ink, 18"x 24" 2017

This is in the planning step but this is hoping to get my goal of 5 large scale figure paintings for my master's thesis. I am still running with the insight from the last large scale painting where I was working from a sculpture I had done for a master class last spring.  I am able to alter/change/destroy and then control the lighting of the image.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 5

Forensic Sculpture - Day 5
So the last day was a lot of finishing. Evening out the hair, carving the face then a lot of smoothing with my thumbs. (So much smoothing to make the texture of skin against the hair).

This is the completed sculpture.

I will re-post this initial information found about the person:

Sex: Male 
Age: 18-25
Ancestry: White, including Hispanic 
Height: Approximately 5'7"
Tooth Loss: All missing teeth would have been present during life.
Damage: There is an autopsy cut along the cranium. The right zygomatic arch should be completely (the space is due to a 3-D printing error). There is missing bone associated with the nasal (top of the nose) that is the result of damage. 
Circumstances: Body found in 1985
Other information: Black, wavy hair approximately 3-4 inches in length.

There is the feeling of accomplishment after doing this class that is really hard to describe. I consider myself pretty much a secular humanist these days but find my thoughts keep returning to Catholic teachings about the Parable of the Talents.  This class is an opportunity to use my skills for a greater goal,  in this case giving a face to an unknown person and hopefully finding this person's identity. 

So this is the final step of the process where the clay sculpture is scanned into the computer.  Again this class was a lot of fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 4

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 4
Day 4 is always the magic day where there is the likeness of a person gazing back at you. The main parts were adding the mouth and the rest of the tissue for the lower jaw, then working on the hair.

I ended really late today, after 9pm. I lost track of time and there was a lot that had to be done.

The first job was adding the mouth to the sculpture. The inside of the iris is the general marker for the ending of the mouth's structure. The lip size is then determined by the size of the front teeth's enamel. We then placed them with a toothpick and smoothed them to the rest of the face.

With the lips complete, we then worked on the rest of the tissue depth markers.

Next, we added ears to the sculpture. I did not have enough time to carve them nicely so they were just blocked in for a while.

I filled in the markers roughly, then distinguished the parts of the face I learned from Che's Ecroche Class (Mouth Muzzle and rest of the face). I also started to add the hair. 

When working on the hair, I realized my first pass was not nearly enough, so I added a lot more. It was also getting late and so I stopped for the day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 3

Forensic Sculpture 2017- Day 3
So Day 3 of the workshop. We worked on the eyes and the nose today. The process is very linear in a way as we are working down the skull adding features from top to bottom, working from the base levels to the surface structures very systematically.  Taking this class a second time really lead me to appreciated this.

The likeness is also starting to emerge from the clay.  It really is remarkable. 

This is where we left off yesterday.  Filling in around the eyes was the first step of the day, reinforcing the area around the eyes and readying for the eye lids to be added.  

Then we added the eyelids. There is a depression in the eye socket that corresponds to how the eyelid folds on the eye. This skull had a lateral depression, so it meant the eye lids would pull up on the outside of the eyes.

With the eyelids completed, the next step was to work on the nose.

This is done by using toothpicks to determine the shape of the nose based on the structures of the skull. Using this gives an idea of the general size of the nose, but tells very little about the structure of the nostrils of the bulb of the nose itself. The instruction was then to make it very generic other then the size of the nose.   

After completing the nose, we ended day 3.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 2

Forensic Sculpture - Day 2
So Day 2 of the Forensic Sculpture Workshop. Above is where we ended after Day 2. You can see that we added the eyes and the tissue depth markers.

Even at this stage, I am struck by how narrow the sides of this person's face was. I even got a comment from the forensic anthropologist. He also commented that the body was found with a substantial amount of hair. 

So the main part of the class was the adding of the tissue depth markers to the skull


Here is a website with the tissue depth markers we used (So the internet literally has everything). Putting them on a piece of paper made it way easier to keep my place when working. This was a real improvement from last year.

Here is the skull with the markers in place.

The next step was to create the eyes.

The Eyes were just created with glass marbles and brown and black sharpies. It was kind of amazing how simple yet effective this was.

So the final step for the day was to place the eyes in the skull. The main rule for placing them was to center them in the eye socket. Depth in the socket was my main problem. The Eye has to protrude from the skull enough to block a putty knife from resting across the socket diagonally. The real challenge was getting both eyes symmetrical and embedded at the same level.