Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Bellydancer Series

I'm not sure this really is a series, but I've had very good results with my two bellydancer paintings. Both sold -- one before it was finished and the other when the paint was still wet. The model for both is an expert dancer who sparkles inside and out.

For both paintings, I chose a small size (16" x 20" canvases) and concentrated on finishing the pieces fully. They were done from live sittings. I was quicker on the second painting (with the teal outfit), completing the work in seven sittings instead of the nine required for the earlier work.

After having posted so many quick studies here lately, I figured it would be good to show what I do with more time. It seems sequins can only be mastered in multiple sittings. Still, no matter how much time I ultimately end up spending on a piece, I am always off to a quick and powerful start. That first session establishes the "life" of the painting.

I love the idea of doing a dancing series and tackling my own "El Jaleo" -- like John Singer Sargent's masterpiece that hangs in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It's perfect.

Top: "The Bellydancer," 20"h x 16"w, oil on linen, copyright Jill Banks 2006.
Bottom: "Bellydancer in Teal," 16"h x 20"w, oil on linen, copyright Jill Banks 2008.

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