Thursday, June 27, 2013

Young Woman with Credentials

This is a woodblock print. The same technique that is used to make all that old Japanese porn we know and love so well. You might ask then, why take this technique into the genre of portraiture? Good question.

This particular print was made using three blocks, four colours, and five printings (the background twice). It follows in the tradition, if it must at all, of the mid-twentieth century sosaku hanga movement in Japan. Books were written. Now, in the the 21st century, technique is back at its rightful place at the top of the cliffs of virtue that determine artistic merit. That's how we know what we're looking at.

To be fair, printmakers have always been preoccupied with technique. Without it they couldn't make their prints. I had to carve the two colour blocks three times each before I had the registration just right, which is a waste of wood. And quite sad.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Light and shadow

One thing I never appreciated, back in art school, was how rare and wonderful it was to set up the studio and the model, and have hours of uninterrupted painting time.

Or even one hour, as in this case. Life is busy.

The picture is a watercolour, sketched out first in pencil. The model stood there for the hour, give or take a break or too. Her position in front of the window made things a bit more challenging - it was a bright Italian day, and I had to squint at her. That light had the effect, too, of washing out everything else, hence the pale tones of the fabrics. The brightness of the sun accepts no rivals.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shaking their fists, 9pm

When Monet painted his series of Rouen cathedral, he had to set up a new canvas and palette for every hour of the day because of the constantly changing light. Think of the hassle.

These days, of course, we have iPads, and we can simply open a new file for each new painting. Assuming, of course, we have the patience to sit and paint anew for each hour of changing light.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

whose head?

Reinisa poses with a prop. It's a quick drawing, of perhaps 10 minutes, done with a brush pen and crayons.