Friday, November 27, 2009


Lately my oil painting skills just aren't working for me.   I started a portrait last week and seem to scrub and paint and scrub and paint til finally I think I'm going to let it sit for awhile and revert to watercolour or even dry media.

This week has been crazy busy and perhaps the busyness has something to do with my inability to paint well.  I do find that distractions do put their footprint on what I try to do creatively.  Switching media often helps me see something in a new light.  So here's a sketch I did at lunchtime today, a different pose slightly, of the same woman, and tomorrow I'll transfer it onto watercolour paper and see what happens.

I've been filling up my last Moleskine with faces.  Sometimes sketchbooks fall into different genres.  I have one all completed in red ink, another devoted to animals and now people.  Nothing I do in sketchbooks is done with purpose - or rarely.  It seems that something just guides me in a particular direction - or I let myself be guided.

This sketch was done on a plane of a previous portrait that I was doing for a portrait swap.  I'm still not 100% pleased with the original outcome of the piece I did and may have a do-over as this sketch, done with no pressure, has more of a likeness than the original.

Ahhhhhh, how the brain and hand work or don't work in harmony sometimes...


Anonymous said...

I love your drawings!

The hand/brain mis-communication sounds familiar. I've been trying to follow the advice of artist Robert Burridge and do some loose little sketchy acrylic paintings as 'warm-ups" to get my brain in that free-wheeling zone. These are only for myself, never again to see the light of day unless I choose to let them.

The 'playtime' is kinda fun! (but afterwords I still sometimes let the pressure get to me)

RHCarpenter said...

I've read somewhere that the mind is far ahead of our hand-eye coordination in art. We can see what needs to be done (the shapes, the darks, the lights) far earlier than our hands can copy that information onto paper or canvas. I think your work is gorgeous, and your watercolor portraits are ones I'd like to emulate but haven't been able to get right yet. I'm still trying, though. Your modeling of the facial planes and features with dabs of paint fascinates me and creates such a vivid, alive portrait.

sue said...

Your portraits are always just excellent, Jeanette, and you have such a soft touch in everything you do.

Rose Welty said...

I love the expression on your face in your self-portrait! That playful reserve... :D

Jeanette said...

Thanks Tracy. I find that warm up drawings really do help me get into the mode to do the real thing. I don't do them often enough.

I think you're right Rhonda. Its a bit like thinking then having to write out your thoughts.

My watercolour portraits just 'happened' in this kind of technique, but they do add a different dimension to skin tone I think.

Thank you Sue.

Rose, good to hear from you again. How are you? I'm always the willing model it seems. I need more 'victims' :)

Gary said...

Lovely sketches from a sure hand.