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Posts Tagged ‘realism’

A small collection of images which represent what can be seen on my webpage.  It's all classical realism!
I’ve decided to add a “Sketch Book” category to my website under the HOME/PORTFOLIO menu. I say a little something about each drawing and I hope at some point in the near future to record some demonstrations of my process.

My newest painting has also just been added to the landing page. It is “The Crowning of Thorns” which will be going to one of the Catholic churches here in Seville, Spain. To be honest, I often wander around these magnificent buildings and think about how wonderful it must have been to have had those walls as a canvass!
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have expressed this sentiment.

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Here are some of the drawings and studies I get up to in between major projects. It’s a good thing to always be drawing. Drawing directly from nature, copying from the masters trains the eye. It is the foundation of all good painting. It is here that you chiefly learn about values independent of hues. If you can good handle on values, you will be better able to manage your colors when it comes time to paint.


“Let whoever may have attained to so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure.”               – Michelangelo 1452 – 1519


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When drawing something this complex it is important to find a good position for your plumb line. Organize your shapes along the vertical and then plot out your lines constantly checking for accuracy. The light coming in from the left emphasizes the halftones of the muscles and the whole surface is modeled. Now, I drew this in a sketch book whose dimensions are 7 by 10 inches so errors become immediately apparent when drawing at this size. It was a bit of a challenge but enjoyable.

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This was painted with burnt umber on 300g paper, primed with a clear gesso.

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Sometimes I will do a small study in a watercolor sketchbook with a paper thickness at around 300g.  I primed the page three times with a transparent primer and then drew the image in. I then primed it once more and set about my painting employing a limited palette. I put a light wash over the drawing using raw umber to establish the overall mid tone.  I get all the dark values in first using raw umber before subtracting the paint for the lighter areas.  You can use your fingers or a cloth or both as required.  Titanium white is then used in the lightest areas and then I use lamp black or a nice bone black for accents and the darkest darks.

I tend to work from the hair into the flesh finding all my local colors and only add refinement when everything is done.

Just remember that the mid tones are neither as dark or as light as should be.  You should work out your darkest darks and lightest lights from your mid tones.

For this little study I used a very simple pallet: Raw Umber, Titanium white and a Light Ochre which has great transparency.

This is a self portrait of William Hogarth.  It is one of his earliest known portraits.  He was a very interesting man; a painter, a printmaker, an art theorist; certainly someone worth getting to know.

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This plate was taken from a now available reprint of Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome’s Drawing Course.

If you want to learn how to move from general to specific forms, understand values and modeling, to understand the site-size technique, then please, get your hands on a copy of this wonderful publication.

A good, strong drawing with clean, clear lines is the best foundation for a good painting

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Wright of Derby may not be the most famous painter around but despite that, he did produce some remarkable work.  “A philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery” or “An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump” are perhaps some of his most famous works.  The above sketch was made after the painting he did of “The Reverend D’Ewes Coke, his wife Hannah and Daniel Parker Coke.”

Copying regularly from the masters can be a whole school of learning unto itself.  I would encourage everyone who loves to draw and paint seriously to follow this practice.

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