Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Painterly Village

Among the shopping-wrapping-gifting-deliveries, frames arrived! So I took a break to dress up these studies in their new finery and set up my painterly version of a gingerbread village.

These are the most recent small poster studies for my paintings. They are meant to be roughly blocked-in color studies that indicate value and color in a poster-like way. Master painters like Ted Seth Jacobs and Tony Ryder (and my painting guru, Todd Casey) use this step in their representational painting as a prep for the real painting. And their work is amazing so you know it's time well spent!

But the studies are supposed to be quick, rough and slightly abstracted. I'm not so good at rough, abstract or quick. Details are so hard to ignore! Maybe it's a carryover from graphic design where every point, pica and pixel makes a difference. (or a painter's version of micro-managing?) Whatever. I tend to get "involved" and end up with mini paintings. Hence this painterly village.

I may try to work looser, but for now it's good to work this way. Time spent on studies is time spent observing and becoming better acquainted with the subject. It helps to discover subtle variations that distinguish an object.

And it's kind of a test. Like speed dating. (Not that I have personal knowledge of such things.) But think of it this way: if it's no fun to spend a relatively short time on a small painting then why paint a large version of the subject? Now that may not be what Ted Seth Jacobs had in mind, but I think it's a good point! So far all my test studies have progressed to larger canvases.

Grey Roseville ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze, 8x16"
While the "grown-up" versions of these paintings are available in galleries (in Guilford, Bedford, Croton Falls) and online, the little ones are hanging out with me in the studio as a reminder of recent compositions that made me smile.

Just like old friends.

The is "Grey Roseville" and the larger 8x16" oil on linen can be purchased from my studio. Please email if you are interested. The little study is not for sale as it has joined the family of my painterly village for the time being.

Note: the small frames are from Custom Frame Solutions, an excellent online source for quality frames at reasonable prices.

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