Friday, August 8, 2008

Alla Prima Painting of John Irvine

Today was a day I really was happy as a clam. I've been operating under a personal "cloud" for awhile now; yesterday it lifted; and today I painted and drew ... freely, happily, and well. This summer, I've been taking Rob Liberace's drawing and painting class at the Art League. It's actually interesting to be teaching class one day a week (Wednesdays) and a student another. I enjoy both roles.

I drew a black & white charcoal of John in the morning. This is done on Canson pastel paper using vine charcoal, some conte stick and black and white General's charcoal pencils.

The oil painting of John was done this afternoon. I'm working on Senso clear acrylic-primed linen canvases -- that I buy from Jerry's Artarama. Fellow artist and friend, Adrienne Kralick, was the first adopter of these. I try all sorts of materials -- every color of paint that catches my eye, and lots of different support materials. I love the Senso canvases. They're not perfectly stretched, but the linen has just the right tooth for painting from first to last stroke and I really like letting the unpainted linen show through.

This painting of John reminds me of two other favorite paintings I've done. One is "Robert" -- a painting that was done in the same period of time -- three hours max -- that benefits from the same fresh appeal and bravura of brushstrokes. You can't mess around when you aim to start and complete a painting this quickly. Thank goodness! Less opportunity to overwork or mess it up!

The other painting this reminds me of is another that I did of John. He's simply a great model. He's a favorite with artists throughout the Washington area, and he posed for the Portrait Society of America conference held in DC last year -- so many portrait artists know John's face.

See Tricia Ratliff's blog entry about painting John in Rick Weaver's portrait painting workshop.

"John in August", oil on linen, 20"h x 16"w, copyright Jill Banks 2008.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your blogspot, you allow us to get inside your head , something so few artists do, especially the old masters. I don't have to try and guess the who, what and why. Fascinating. I think painting "Alla Prima" is most interesting as it clearly zeros in on all the first impressions, the really important features of the subject in a very short time, yet creates a bit of looseness... I find this technique very pleasant and gentle. By not producing a totally finished product , it leaves me wondering just how it would look if you had more time with it. Beautiful work Jill.