Sharing some images from the INCREDIBLE Morgan Library Sargent exhibition which is on display until January 2020. If you can get over to NYC to see it, then I really encourage you to. The portraits were outstanding. In person, the charcoals are softer and somewhat more diffused than they appear in photos. I really learned a lot from observing them today. Awesome day.
I was sketching my friend Tim last night and it hit me so suddenly, the importance of accurate values. It's way more important than color, proportion, detail or any other aspect to representational painting.
This revelation came at the perfect time to me because I was really struggling with a portrait and didn't know what I was going wrong. I think the roadblock I used to have before was to be almost afraid of making the values too dark. This fear is really impeding because most accurate values are towards the darker value range.
So a simple 3 step process for the painting below that I did was:
1. Start with a simple charcoal outline to get the basic proportions
2. Use a large brush and smudges of more opaque paint with accurate values. Don't worry about details at this stage. (squinting helps)
3. Once the basic forms are in place, then you can add minor details and refine it a little bit more, but don't go overboard and lose the planes.
I've stressed this before, but it really is imperative to work from life. Even a 10 second sketch from life will have more magic than a finished painting from a digital photo. I emphasize this in my classes and I will always tell everyone how important it is. There's really no way to put it into words. It's like listening to live music Vs. listening to through other means. I also feel way more proud of my work when I work from life.
Two new sketches as we get ready for a north east snow storm. The one sketch is of a cat who was enjoying a drink today from our birdbath and the other is a furniture study of a kitchen chair. I also recently went down to New Brunswick to pick up my watercolors that were in an exhibition. I've hung two of them up to enjoy and remind myself of summer days.
My brother's coming back home today to stay for the three day weekend. I haven't seen him since he took a Christmas vacation with his girlfriend to Hawaii. He's bringing me back some cool stuff like a really nice ukulele and some Hawaiian shirts. Hawaii would be really nice right about now...stay safe in the storm everyone.