Currently browsing Posts Tagged “florence”

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Puppy Ciao

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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As I’ve mentioned, digital painting is a great way to kill time on an overseas flight. I took this photo on Saturday outside of an enoteca in Florence. Using some of the concepts I learned over the last few weeks, I was able to paint this freehand in a couple hours. Thus proving that the most time-consuming part of oil painting is dealing the messy paint!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Tourists

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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I’m ramping down, clearly. One of the only things I sketched today was Donatello’s sculpture “Abacuc,” in the Opera del Duomo museum.

Next post will be made in the U.S.A. Get’r done.

It’s All Over But The Drying

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Meet Rachel. Or maybe it’s her older sister, or her distant cousin, but it was definitely American art student Rachel who sat patiently for 7 days while I slathered pigment across canvas with nearly the dexterity of that painting elephant. She approves!

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Un Giorno in Piu

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Aren’t you getting sick of this lovely face? Me too! But I think I made it better, at least. The hair is still retarded, but I have 6 more hours to figure that out! And then I’ll stuff my face with Italian food for most of the following 36 hours!

First Painting: And It Shows

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Well, I’d hoped to have something a bit less flat-looking by the end of the day, but it’s all part of the learning process. To paint a picture, you have to juggle a lot of divergent concepts, such as 2-dimensional measurement, how 3-D objects behave in light, perception of tone and hue, and knowledge of anatomy. Add to that the learning curve of figuring out how oil paints behave and the mad-scientist chemicals you need at your disposal, and it’s no wonder a newbie is limping toward the finish line!

I know the knee-jerk response will be “you’re too hard on yourself,” and “it looks great,” but rest assured that I’m not beating myself up. I’m enjoying the hell out of this! And I’m sure I’ll find further enlightenment in the final two sessions, and maybe even surprise myself with the final result.

What I enjoy about this class is the same thing I like about my drawing class in New York: the teachers are neither condescending nor falsely encouraging. Like training wheels, or better yet, bowling bumpers, they keep you on the right path, and if you’re willing to pay attention (jury’s still out!), eventually you’ll be able to succeed on your own.

I think I’ll always gravitate toward digital art, but I had an idea today, that I’m sure has been done. I had my digital painting of my sister’s dog┬áprinted on canvas and it looked pretty good. What if I painted digitally up through the first painting stage, had it printed, then did second painting on top of it? Then I’d have a truly one-of-a-kind oil painting, but save about 10 gallons worth of paint I would have wasted on the hard part. Lazy or genius? Don’t answer that.

First Painting: First Painting

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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No, I’m not being redundant; I’ve entered the phase known as “first painting.” Yesterday I did “dead coloring,” or filling in the cartoon (yup, the line drawing is called the cartoon) with flat, average shades. In this picture, the hair is still at that stage.

The idea of first painting is to start to give form and depth by adding different tones. After a rocky start, the instructor helped me mix the right colors for her face, and I think I made some decent progress after that.

Tomorrow I’ll finish the face and move on to the hair. I think a lot of us are worried that we won’t have enough time for second painting, where you add a lot of the detail and finishing touches, but unlike several of them, I’m not really fretting about it. No matter what, it’ll be the best oil painting I’ve done in my life!

Viva Inglese!

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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I’ve definitely done this double-take more than once here in Florence.

(Apologies; forgot to take a pic of my painting progress today!)

Molto Scarabocchiata

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Wonder what kind of reaction I’d get if I went in tomorrow, scribbled this, and ran out the door to spend a leisurely week getting fat(ter) on gelato.

Next Stop Olive Garden

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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A quick sketch I made while sitting in Boboli Garden. It’s a sculpture/fountain in the midst of many plants and trees.

Bring the Paint

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Started up with the paint today; just a re-do of the sketch with very diluted raw umber, then a background color. Monday we’ll start in with “dead coloring,” or thick layers of flat color.

Here’s a look at how the drawing was transferred. First, I traced the sketch with red pencil. Then I loosely traced it on the opposite side with charcoal. Finally, I laid the charcoal on the canvas itself and traced with a pencil to transfer the charcoal. Whew!