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Creative Process

This blog will follow the process of my current project: a series of three 5' x 9' figure paintings called "The Feast of Venus". I'll be posting the preliminary drawings and oil sketches as I complete them, and possibly add some commentary along the way. I have just begun this project and am working on the first painting in the series which has the working title "Stirring the Pot". All images on this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

One of the hardest things abut doing a complex figure painting is figuring out what the figures look like, what they are wearing, and how they are holding their arms and hands. Although I have a clear idea of what I want the figures to be doing I still get caught up in a seemingly endless decision process about the angle of a head or the height of an arm. Every slight variation sends the painting in a new direction and it is dizzying to look down the corridor of infinite possibilities and alternate versions.

And then of course there are details, details. I do a lot of the figure work out of my head - models are expensive and I like to be alone in the studio - but it can get tricky to imagine what the little finger looks like when it curls around a knife. My latest idea is to have Tom take photographs of me in the pose and improvise from those photos. Of course I have to change the features or the painting would be completely inhabited with figures that look like me.

The figure on the right of the central group is supposed to be sliding some chopped carrots - or should I make them onions? - into the soup. She changed a little with every preliminary drawing and oil study and so far in the painting itself she has a little bit of all her versions. Stay tuned...


Blogger Karen Winslow said...


8:26 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Torak said...

Thanks Karen-San!!

6:54 PM  

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