Thursday, June 3, 2010

Other projects under way

I am currently letting the Great Dane puppy (mentioned previously) sit unobserved for a while before putting the finishing touches on it. It’s always critical to do this I think. The break gives your eyes a much better chance of catching errors and other details that need to be adjusted before completing the piece. While the puppy rests I am working on a few other things including my SIFF sketches. Fortunately, we’re taking several days off from SIFF movies and this allows me time to work on another fine art piece with the working title of “Man and Horse.”

I absolutely loved this statue when I photographed it on my last walk-about trip in Washington, DC. It’s called, “Man Controlling Trade” and it stands outside the Federal Trade Commission. It’s an allegorical piece where the horse stands as a symbol for trade. I do not like the allusion of the allegory in this statue at all. But, having said that, I also believe that it's a wonderful piece of WPA art. I am a HUGE fan of many WPA art pieces, especially the big blocky figures commonly seen in WPA statues and murals. Perhaps, one day, I’ll do a series of paintings illustrating them. *happy grin* But for now, this wonderful statue was a great excuse to experiment with some other water-soluble pencils that I’ve recently bought – Derwent’s Graphitints.

"Man and Horse" with reference photo

These are soft graphite pencils tinted with color. The colors are muted when dry but brighten up when wet. In that way they are similar to the water-soluble colored pencils I've been using for the puppy portrait but in much more subtle shades. For this piece I’m using a limited palette of the following colors: 04 Dark Indigo, 03 Aubergine, 18 Storm, 23 Cool Grey, 20 Midnight Black, 16 Cocoa, 13 Chestnut. As you can see the color palette I’ve chosen seems perfectly matched to the statue and I think that’s really cool. For the support I’ve chosen a Lanaquarelle Hot Press Watercolor block. I’m really enjoying using hot press paper with water-soluble pencils. Never a huge fan of hot press paper before, I find it takes the pencil marks well and since I’m not using a huge amount of water (and I’m using small brushes), it’s a great choice. I have only recently started using the Lana paper and I really like it.

"Man and Horse"

I have been working in layers wetting small sections at a time. While that area dries I can wet another area or add more dry color. It’s a relaxing process.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this piece turns out. If it works out well then maybe I will do a series of other WPA statues. I certainly have been collecting photographs of them for many years. Stay tuned...

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