Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm starting on a head shot I'll use as a general avatar icon.
'Way back in the day, I took a life drawing class from Sal Casa, Chico State College. Fast forward to the winter issue of Drawing magazine, and an article by Austin Williams about the charcoal figure drawings of Mark Tennant. I'm inclined to drag out my charcoal, newsprint pad, dust off what I can remember from Sal's teachings, and take a crack at doing a self-portrait.
I haven't done figures much recently, mostly landscapes. This one, "Edge of the garden, Estancia Del Mar" is fairly typical of my current work and style. I really like using texture, value and detail to suggest depth, foliage types. I tend to define the space, make it as realistic as possible.
Tennant has a different philosophy. Williams quotes him: "You have to finish in the right place; you don't have to go wall-to-wall with the whole thing," and "All the good art is about real restraint."
I don't buy that all the good art shows restraint, but I can identify with the concept of overworking a piece until all the life is rubbed out of it.
Still working on the kitchen table; trim and painting in the studio start tomorrow.

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