Monday, October 12, 2015

Symmetry is Overrated

I don't paint faces or people very often because I struggle with the symmetry and proportions.  Yet I ended up painting two today. Kind of. Or two halves. Which is one whole.

This weekend I did a major clean up of my studio/office space which always inspires me to dive into a painting.

I applied black gesso (I'm out of white) to a couple of canvases I'm going to repaint and set them aside to dry. They were from school assignments years ago. Time to make them new again.

I have a couple 12" x 24" canvases that have just been sitting unopened. They are an awkward size and I don't remember what project I bought them for. I've been wanting to try to do an abstract painting and decided these would be good to practice on since if they don't turn out I'm not counting on them for a particular space. Plus, I need to restock my paints so I'm working with lots of purples today. Not my usual color palette.

I sketched a few ideas and decided I was going to do half of a face with a cascade of flowers for hair and a phrase.  I loosely sketched it on the canvas and blocked in the background color and skin tone. So far so good. Then I started the first flower trying a new technique.  It looked terrible.  So,  I changed my plan.  Changed her look. Abbreviated the phrase.  Made her a little more rocker and a little less hippy. Went with silver leaf for a little bling. And best of all, with only half a face everything was nice and even.

Next, I pulled out one of the dry black canvases. This time I was determined in going with an abstract painting. I selected my colors, mixed my paints, sketched my shapes.  I was ready.
I started painting.  It was okay.  Not great.  I added some more contrast,  It started getting better. Some drips of textured paint added interest. I almost liked it but it wasn't balanced. There was too much negative space. It needed something.

So, yet another face began to take shape.  This one I called Moon Face.  She was round and glowing.  Lots of texture and built up elements. I'm not sure about her but Anique says she likes her better than the first one. 

I think I'm liking painting only half a face.