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Preliminary drawing for a painting

I began working on a new canvas and wanted to share the way I usually approach painting a picture. The canvas here has been given a wash of Raw Umber using acrylic paint and was allowed to dry. The subject was then drawn on the canvas using a dark blue color pencil which was then fixed with spray. I normally use charcoal for this but sometimes use a sharpened pencil when I want a more precise or definite drawing. Many artists don't like making detailed preliminary drawings on their canvas but I find I get better results in the end when I do it. 
ForgivenessBoudiccaSummerBOB73Rich_AEphrammichalistassieguyHondoRWbobbybirds

Comments

  • Leo2015

    Agree with all of this. The downside is the inhibition of artistisic expression and the tedious trap of a tight and stiff looking painting.

    Denis

    Leo2015
  • Yes, the trick is in trying to maintain the brushwork to look spontaneous. Sargent's work looks spontaneous but it's said that he would retouch areas of his pictures until they looked right. 
    dencalForgivenessBOB73
  • I agree with your approach here. I think it's good to make lines, then loose them, make new lines, loose 'em again and remake them again again, until you get it right. This foundation should aid in letting yourself become more spontaneous and more free.
    Leo2015
  • edited March 8
    Forgiveness, I tend to prefer loose brushwork but I can also appreciate a tighter style such as that of painters like W.A.Bouguereau and others. I do think though that if your aim is to paint fine but lively paintings like those of  the Impressionists, it's always a good plan to begin by sticking to an academic method until you have learned to put down objects on your canvas accurately. Just my two cents. 
    Forgiveness
  • Leo2015, Your drawing could pass as a finished piece and even win an art contest. Artists who really like to draw seem to make detailed shaded drawings and that is fine. I find that  when I try that, especially the shading, that it  hinders my ability to avoid common mistakes like over-defining lines and blending too much. Shaded areas also make it difficult for me to know if I've got the value right. I'm sure if I follow and practice your method enough I will eventually overcome those obstacles. But for me it is a long process.
    Leo2015
  • ".... always a good plan to begin by sticking to an academic method until you have learned to put down objects on your canvas accurately. Just my two cents. "   I agree 100% and that's my plan too.  And I LOVE your drawing. Very beautiful.
    Leo2015
  • Very nice Leo. This drawing definitely has a Sargentesque quality to it. Loving everything about this. Can't wait to see some paint added to this.
    Leo2015
  • Thanks for sharing the details of your approach.
    Leo2015
  • BOB73 said:
    Leo2015, Your drawing could pass as a finished piece and even win an art contest. Artists who really like to draw seem to make detailed shaded drawings and that is fine. I find that  when I try that, especially the shading, that it  hinders my ability to avoid common mistakes like over-defining lines and blending too much. Shaded areas also make it difficult for me to know if I've got the value right. I'm sure if I follow and practice your method enough I will eventually overcome those obstacles. But for me it is a long process.
    Many artists wont even make a preliminary drawing on their canvas before they start the picture. One of those is David Leffell and his school. Painters like him will make a rough outline with the brush and then work into that and it works well for him. Others will make a highly precise drawing on paper then transfer it to their canvas. This was the usual practice with the academic painters in the 19th century ateliers in France. I learned early on to make the drawing on the canvas with charcoal and it stuck. Anyway, it's always good to practice drawing from nature or even from good photos as it increases ones ability to see things correctly, and your pictures will be that much better for doing so. 
    ForgivenessBOB73
  • edited March 9
    Thank you Dianna and Rich. 
    Ephram, always happy to help my fellow artists. I am learning many news things from all of you too, thanks so much! 
  • This is looking great.
    Leo2015
  • I love the way you do fabric. 
    Leo2015
  • Thanks guys. It was painted somewhat loosely and most likely it will remain that way. I think I'll just move on to something else. 
    tgarney
  • I think it is gorgeous.
    Leo2015
  • Thank you oilpainter! 
  • edited March 15
    its a gorgeous painting!! love it
    there's a green line running down the neck, is that intentional?
    Leo2015
  • Thanks anwesha and tgarney. 
    Anwesha, a poorly blended shadow! 
  • wow. Love the warm light at the top of her head, and then that cool light as it hits that flouncy sleeve. This painting has such an enchanting feel to it. Love it! 
    Leo2015BOB73
  • Wooow I love it ☺
    Leo2015
  • Thank you kindly Jessica and hassna. 
  • I love the back lighting, nice touch.
    BOB73
  • This is gorgeous work. I’m curious...did you draw this from a photo or live model or just from your head? I haven’t tried painting from a drawing yet but this inspires me to give it a try.
  • HondoRW said:
    This is gorgeous work. I’m curious...did you draw this from a photo or live model or just from your head? I haven’t tried painting from a drawing yet but this inspires me to give it a try.
    Thanks. This figure study was based on a photograph. 
  • Inspiring! I am taking my first figure drawing classes this week. I can only dream about one day being able to do something this fantastic!
  • you really captured a mood there - very nice @Leo2015 ;

  • Inspiring! I am taking my first figure drawing classes this week. I can only dream about one day being able to do something this fantastic!
    Thanks. My advice to you would be to draw as much as possible because it takes a while to master it. Many art schools today that teach classical styles of painting will have you work from casts and that's a good thing. I didn't know of any such schools back in the early 1980's so I read whatever books I could find on the topic of drawing and tried to apply what they taught in my own work. Books by Robert Beverly Hale and Harold Speed helped, but there are many others. Another great method for learning  to draw figures is by copying from old master drawings. You will learn a lot about anatomy and technique by doing that. All the old master did it too. 
    bobbybirds
  • Thank you Julianna, it is a somewhat small painting for my taste. I really prefer working in a larger size canvas now because my vision isn't as good as it was before. I don't like wearing glasses when I paint but I may have to very soon.  :o
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