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Old 11-13-2007, 05:51 PM   #1
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Waiting in the Little Black Dress




Okay, blast away.

This is charcoal and a very pale yellow conte. I'm unhappy with the paper as I don't seem to be able to lift and mold the charcoal around. Especially her left arm, it looks hairy to me. I'm concentrating very hard on form, but am having to develop a new method of creating my lines, (hatch marks). Instead of the longer curved lines I used to use, I now have to use shorter lines with more control (due to my shoulder).

But I'm trying, reading Juliette Aristides book on atelier training and jumping in way over my head, but working nonetheless.

It's 18x26 inches on Fabriano paper---not sure which one, I'm going to have to start labeling all paper immediately in the future.

Jean
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:45 PM   #2
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Jean, well done. the only thing that I would do here is to lighten both arms and the leg. Lighten the far arm and shoulder respectfully according to the light hitting it. The arm closest to us lighten more than the far arm but keeping in mind the fall of light and the what people call the terminator line, the darkest area of the form. On the leg I would just take out the dark blotches.

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:53 PM   #3
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Dear Jean,

I am so glad you are exploring new approaches in drawing that will work better for you!

I like what you have accomplished - just a couple of observations - the body looks too large for the head. It might be a result of some photo distortion.

Also, you might think about moving the right side of the dark vertical a bit more to our right so it doesn't form a tangent with the strap on the dress. I would hate to see you lose that little kiss of light between the body and arm, so I am not sure how far you could go with the vertical.

Good to see you here!
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:35 AM   #4
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Mischa, thank you for taking the time to reply. I've lightened her arm up, was quite surprised that I could lift the charcoal off, but it is quite a bit lighter and am reworking it. Also, the blotches--didn't even notice them till I saw it on screen. It will look much different next time you see it.

Chris, after looking closely at the posted image, I'm sure that what you are seeing is a photo distortion of the drawing. I'll be more careful next time I photograph the drawing. I was so careful about the dreaded tangents when I did this and totally missed the edge and her strap. I'm going to try moving the strap slightly, and adding some stray strands of hair and I think that will so the trick.

What I miss most is the ability to draw "the beautiful line". My professor way way back referred to the line that wavered, changed thickness, disappeared at times, and curved with grace as "the beautiful line". I will find a way to reproduce that if at all possible. When I post the close up of her face you will see my attempt in the hairs that cross her forehead. Dismal at best, but it will pass for right now.

It's good to be back, I've missed many people here, but learned much about landscapes and can mix any green found in nature now!

Jean
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:16 PM   #5
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Hopefully improved, there seems to be a strange color showing up on her face and other places. It does not show like this in real life.

Jean

On my monitor, the blacks are not deep enough in her dress and the darkest side of the wall. Otherwise the color is better than the first image.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:56 PM   #6
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Better images

These are closer to the original.

Jean
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:24 AM   #7
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Jean, thank you for the closeups. You have done a nice job on lightening the arms and leg. Remember skin is soft. Skin glows even in shadow. Skin exhibits form and solidity. I say this in order to express that if there is a dark blotch or a dark line on skin it represents something. A dark line represents a gash. Remember that transition in value, when talking about skin, are gradual even when moving from light to dark. When moving from light to dark there is a long halftone or a shorter halftone. If the brake between dark and light is sharp and or abrupt as is on a box there we will see a definite abrupt contrast between two values.

The bleached out light you have on the girls chest hand breast are interesting but a question arises, what is the center of attention? In a painting or drawing of a person there is usually one center of attention. That center of attention can be shared by another person but at best one should most always dominate. In your drawing, a well done drawing, you have the breast and the chest area that stand out and dominate. Now, I see what you wish to do but to be able use this method effectively one must understand much about focal points in order to give the viewer art.

In short, I would suggest that you ton down her breast for the light expressed in that area can never be as bright being that it is not shiny metal or glass.

Again all the best to you and I hope I was able to help
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:59 PM   #8
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Yes Mischa, you have helped. The most important part of your message to me, "one must understand much about focal points in order to give the viewer art", is something that I need to keep in mind. I fell in love with the drama of the shape of the highlighted area on her chest and lost focus of the whole as a drawing, I sacrificed "art" for impact. Her face and the expression is a much more important part of the whole. Here is a young woman, waiting and waiting, getting impatient and feeling sad at the same time-------many mixed emotions. So much potential there, but the first thing the viewer sees is this brilliant patch of light on her chest. So, I think I will revisit the subject with a new attempt, and just start over.

I'm unhappy with the shadowed parts of her arms and can't lift any more charcoal off. This, I think is due to technique and my lack of control (injury). I'm not going to beat myself up, but will simply try again, maybe using different paper, pencils, or blending techniques. I like her face, but not the my drawing ability of the stray hairs. Oh, "beautiful line" how will I create you again.

Thank you Chris, Allan, and Mischa, for being a part of this learning curve and the encouragement.


To anyone who is reading this and afraid of posting for a critique, remember it's just paper or paint, or charcoal or whatever. It's what is in the brain that counts, and one can never learn too much.

My mantra: "fear becomes anticipation, anticipation becomes excitement"! Now on to a new project........

Jean
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:36 PM   #9
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Jean, the point is not to start over rather to work with what you have. Please do not be discouraged for you have a excellent drawing to work on. Sure this is paper and working with charcoal rather than oily charcoal pencils is a good thing.

It is not simple to give a detailed critique from a distance. So, we do the best we can always keeping in mind that the artist must learn to see. Think of it this way. when a critique is available it is the duty of the artist to see other areas where the same instruction can be applied. This helps to develop ones powers of observation.

Many artists think that by throwing paint around or charcoal around a master peace will evolve somehow. Trashcans are full of such ideas. On the other hand if one wishes success, with a drawing or painting, planing and patience must be exercised.

When working with charcoal one must be patient and pick out the dots that do not fit or add dots that need to be there. Don't rush it and you will reach your goal.

All the best to you.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:29 AM   #10
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Oh Mischa, the drawing is not in the trashcan yet. I was planning on starting over, but maybe I will continue with this one after reading your comments.

If I had done this from life, I would have seen that those highlights were much softer. This has always been my weak point, working only from photos (unless I'm outside working on a landscape). I do have a new lead on a model though, and am looking forward to working with her. In the meantime I may try drawing my feet , I can easily see them and they are always with me. Good practice in foreshortening also!

My goal is not to make a masterpiece each time I do something, but to learn and develop new skills within my limitations. I see no reason that I can't accomplish this, and find satisfaction and peace along the way. Impatience is a problem though. I do want (deep down inside), to create beauty, I want to have my work stop the viewer and take their breath away. I want, I want, I want--------------oops, time to take a deep breath and put my priorities back into place.

Thank you for your insightful comments!

Jean
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