Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finding the Subtle Curve of a Line

Last night right before going up to bed I looked at the canvas again and decided that I had to change the chin line, so I grabbed the red water-color pencil and an eraser and within a few minutes I found the proper curve of the chin line. Don stood back and said “Wow, what an amazing difference a small change like that can make”. He was right, a small shift in that curved line changed the perception of the whole face. (The photo I posted here today was taken before I changed the chin line in the drawing last night)

I don’t sleep well at night and I tend to wake up grumpy. Don gets up early and makes an astonishing amount of noise for just one person and it usually cranks me right up because I am trying to sleep. This morning, after being kept awake once again by my snoring husband and dogs, I was trying to get a few moments of rest before I got up. Don was downstairs banging cabinet doors, letting the dogs out and slamming the back door that doesn’t close right in winter, not once, not twice but 3 times. Just as my temper began to rise, I had a perceptual shift like the line in my drawing last night. My thoughts turned from a hard line to a gentle curve and I was blessed with the realization that all that noise was being made by my best friend, (who was in fact making me coffee), and that meant he was here with me and I was not alone as so many people are. I had a keen awareness of the empty silence that would fill this house if he were gone and with than small shift in my awareness the noise he was making began to feel comfortable and it made me smile.

Today I am going to begin the under-painting layer on myself portrait. I read a little about the grisaille (French) and verdaccio (Italian) styles of under-painting last night and have a feeling that this is not something that you nail on your first portrait after reading a couple of articles online. The grisaille method, it seems, is based on neutral or brown-gray tones and the verdaccio is based on green-gray tones, the latter of which is supposed to really enhance skin tones. So today I have to decide if I want to paint the first layer of her face green/grey or brown/grey.

Off to the studio…..

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