Monday, May 17, 2010

June Challenge!

Ok boys, I hold the floor for this next project. I have chosen to do a master copy. One of my favorite painters Anthony Van Dyck has painted in my opinion one of the best portraits ever. The Cornelis van derGeest is stunning for it's paint quality, simplicity and life likeness. In this project I demand that it must be painted with a limited palette consisting of lead white, yellow ocher, raw umber, ivory black and burnt sienna. The burnt sienna has to be a real natural iron oxide pigment, not a synthetic iron oxide. Brands like Williamsburg, Old Holland and M. Graham are all fine. I myself prefer Williamsburg. In this painting not only the drawing and color matching are important but the heavy impastos also. I'd like to see the same paint quality. The size will be 11 X 14 inches. In fine, lets have at least 5 process photos. Thank you guys. I look forward to seeing how this all works out. ~ Brian David MacNeil.
Finish is due June 16th

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Portrait of Brian by Jessie Paz

This is my painting of Brian. I really enjoyed this sketch just because it was a challenge to get likeness.
My approach to this painting was simple, a quick sketch applied with paint and then painted with thick applications of paint. I kept it very spontanious, alaprima approach. the painting took me two sessions of 2hrs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

First Post!

As Mark mentioned this a monthly challenge we have created.  I am excited to see the development of each artist through each month and how we can push each other as artist.  I am thrilled to be a part of this, I love painting and this just gives me more of a reason to paint more.  

This month's challenge we decided to do portraits of each other, I'm painting  Mark's portrait.  Its crazy to see the painting and picture side by side, I can see the areas that need to be fixed.  This is the process though so nothing is final.  

This is the reference shot
This is the beginning of my painting, I can already tell that some areas need to be corrected as far as drawing goes.  Again not the finish so I am glad to see my mistakes this early.  I am starting out with just burnt umber and no mediums, I usually do not add so much detail this early but especially in the shadow shapes but oh well Im having fun!  
I added more tones, I am keeping the whole painting monochromatic for now and build colors on top of it.  I then added the background which has some color and flare to it, not sure if I will keep like that.

I am almost there, working more with the temperature and the fall of light.  I am softening a lot of the edges, this in turn will make all the features even and not have one jump out more than the other.  Have not touched the ear yet which is annoying me but I will get to it next.  Decided to fill in the background more and not make it distracting, I want more of the focus to be on the portrait rather than a loose background that does not mesh well with the portrait.  All right back to work, have to finish!

16 x 20 in
Oil on Masonite
This is the finished painting of Mark, the pic is not the greatest.  I experimented many things with this painting, and learned a lot.  From the last pic I took I have added color, I also went into the hair and added the information there.  What was frustrating about this painting was the surface it was painted on, as soon as I laid any darks down within a couple hours it would sink in which made it hard to judge the  darks to the lights.  I am learning though more about this surface and how to work with it.  The ear and and neck are unfinished as well, payed more attention to the facial area and hair.  I had lots of fun doing the hair, thats where the expressive strokes came in.  Well, we broke the ice with this challenge now on to the next!
Detail of "Mark"

And so it begins...

What started as a facebook chat idea, has now become our first montly painting challenge. Jon sent me his photo, I sent mine to him. Here's the master I'm working from and my initial shape lay in. More to come.

Haven't had a lot of time to spend on this, but plunked in a bit of minor forms and simple value shifts using Burnt Umber and Titanium White. Very little medium. I like to do an underpainting like this before going in with color.

Still not a lot of time to spend, but introduced color and started into some smaller forms. Always enhancing the light and staying as thin as possible in the darks. Not sure if there will be a background, I've been enjoying these studies with just the field color as the background.

More color and more detail, getting closer to the finish.

Finish. Finalized by adding a simple background, it works because of Jon's shaved noggin'. I did some final touches to the ear and then finished the eyes and forehead. Last was the hair and background, merging the two together at points to give depth and adjust focus to the face. Now we have to decide what to do next! (BTW - if you click on this photo, the enlarged version is fairly large, so you can see detail a bit better. Likely I'll take some more detailed photos later with a better camera.)