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Monday, April 29, 2013

Demitasse Pumpkin: New Still Life Painting

Demitasse Pumpkin, oil on linen, 3" x 4", 2013
available for purchase

demitasse is a small cup used to serve espresso.  For this small still life painting, I placed a miniature pumpkin on a gold-trimmed demitasse saucer.  I love these tiny pale-gold pumpkins that fit in my hand, and I've painted a few in the past (see below).  Demitasse Pumpkin is currently available in my online store:

Cinderella, oil on prepared paper, 4" x 4", 2011
private collection

Mini Pumpkin, oil on linen, 3" x 3", 2007
private collection

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Painting process for Tessa portrait

Progression of Tessa portrait: poster study, preparatory drawing, wash-in, form painting
 My recent visit to The Ryder Studio spanned 5 weeks of a 6-week (3 hours a day, 5 days a week) portrait sitting by Tessa, who is a wonderful friend and model from the Netherlands that we had the pleasure of meeting and drawing during the Rembrandt Pilgrimage last May.

This is a quick overview of the painting process I went through for this portrait.  If there is interest, I will follow up to show the process in more detail-- posting more photos and explaining some of the in-between steps, techniques, critiques and corrections.

Poster study
 After playing around with some rough thumbnail sketches to determine my composition, I began with a poster study.  This is a small color study about 3" square.

Preparatory drawing
I began my preparatory drawing with graphite on toned paper, then decided to overlay it with translucent drafting film to make corrections and complete the drawing.  The photo above shows this stage.  It is 6" x 6"-- the same size as the panel on which I planned to paint.  I transferred just the rough outside shape of the figure to my linen panel using a stencil I cut out from a tracing of my drawing.  Then, referring to both the model and my preparatory drawing, I worked within that outline to develop a finely detailed brush drawing on the panel.

 The wash-in is a thinly painted color underpainting, beginning with the darker areas and progressing into the lights.  The white of the canvas shows through to create the lights, similar to a watercolor.  Drawing issues continue to be worked out in this stage, and the colors begin to approach the target colors for the final painting, but generally remain a bit lighter.

Portrait of Tessa, 6" x 6", oil on linen
 The form painting is the final stage.  Beginning with the darker areas and working toward the light, I complete one area at a time.  Paint is specifically mixed in progressions that turn each small form from dark to light.  I continue to grapple with and resolve drawing issues throughout this stage.  At the end of the 5 weeks, I have completed the form painting on the face and ear, and finish the piece by creating transitions into the hair, neck, and background (which remain largely wash-in, as does the hoodie).

Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know if you'd like to see more from this process!

Edit: New post describing in more detail the first few stages of the process:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Figure drawing of Deidre, Pregnant

Deidre, Pregnant, graphite and pastel on 9" x 12" toned paper
by Anna Wakitsch, 2013
I recently returned from an inspiring visit to The Ryder Studio, where I discovered, to my delight, that a model I have known and worked with since 2005 was now a beautiful 8 months pregnant and sitting for a figure pose!  It was a very special experience, and I am grateful that she was willing to share this amazing time in her life with us all.  The drawing is available for purchase in my online store:
For this piece I used graphite and pastel pencils (white, pale yellow, pale peach, light coral) on blue toned paper.

detail from Deidre, Pregnant

detail from Deidre, Pregnant