Monday, August 23, 2010

Behind women's eyes I final step... a little wet behind the ears with the palette knife!

This is really my first large portrait (36 X 36) using more palette knife than I'm used to...

... and I'm still trying to find the balance between different textural effects. In a way, I want to avoid being gimmicky with the overuse of a specific formula! Looking at the "light over dark" approach, my heart is balancing between a bravura style using the brush exclusively and this more "visceral" approach leveraging textures. It would be nice to combine the two... without loosing to much either way!

When I did the 2nd pass for this painting, I couldn't help but think about a more decorative and stylized approach for this series. While in Madrid a few years ago, I was stunned by Manolo Valdes' ultra contemporary approach using sowed burlap or canvas and impasto oil paint. In particular, I liked his simple lines and powerful designs which reminded me of Matisse. I need to find a way to retain the abstract quality and the freshness of my first passes and not obliterate everything in subsequent passes! However, this would be very similar to painting with watercolors... each move needing to be decisive and final!

Note: I'm departing from my model with this painting, and this is my intent from now on...

Note to self: "I achieved the visceral character I envisioned for this painting, however, I failed to introduce a certain level of imprecision from one layer to the other, being too concerned with the application of paint. I would have liked the face to vibrate as if in movement. This is definitely something I want to achieve short-term... I'm not sure how!"

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