March 21, 2012
Jennifer, 18X24", oil on linen
This is a studio piece that came out of my sessions with the model. One way to describe the process of moving from quick sketch to studio piece is that the process of quick sketch "informs" the larger studio work. This piece was painted in hours as opposed to minutes - but the benefit of having worked from this model in this light from life, was of great assistance in rendering the finished piece above.
While it is quite possible to have the model sit for the duration of the painting, this painting was done with the help of photo reference material. The model is expensive, so I prefer to work from the model in a group setting, where model fees are shared and poses are shorter; however, the information gleaned from observing and painting her from life was of particular use when it came to getting the color temperatures right in the studio piece. The camera can never do as good a job as the naked eye, and visual memory, even when working from a photo reference, kicks in and helps get the job done.
In addition, the drawing/painting/color mixing practice that comes from working from life keeps my eye in practice, so the rendering of the studio piece feels relatively easy when compared to working from life. I can't emphasize what a difference I find it makes to my continued development as a painter to continually return to painting from life on a regular basis.
Speaking of artistic development - I hope with all my pontifications around working from life that some of you might make the time to start the practice. If you do, I would love to hear about your observations. Keep your brushes wet!