April 24, 2009

Bazille copy, day 3

Today I only painted on this for two hours. I worked on the head and the hand with the cigar. Then I left early to see the new self-portrait exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery up the street.
See the slideshow of the exhibit.

On looking at this now, I think I need to change the angle of the nostril a little. Same with the top of his head, and his mouth. That will help with the angle of his head. I've unconciously made all of these elements more horizontal than they should be. Click on the picture for a larger view.

April 18, 2009

Bazille copy, day 2

As promised, here is the copy before I started working on it on Day 2. I had everything blocked in, but the colors and values are not yet right.
Day 2, after working in the morning. I had spent time on the hands, but not the face yet. Sorry it's out of focus - I really should use a tripod to photograph in this low light without a flash.
Here we are at the end of Day 2. It's coming along, but I can see that I don't have the gesture of the pose quite right. M. Maître's head is actually a little more tipped forward, and his hands should be smaller. Click on the image for a larger view, and you can see how mine compares with the original.We'll see how much patience I have to make the changes next week.

April 10, 2009

"Edmonde Maître" after Frédéric Bazille (Day 1)

After a long hiatus (almost a year) I returned to the National Gallery today to start a new copy. I had stretched a canvas to what I thought was the proper size of at least 2" smaller than the original, and was all set to begin copying a Cezanne landscape. However, when the Registrar in charge of copyists measured my canvas, she found that one of the sides was only 1 and 15/16" smaller than the original, instead of the required two inches. Only a sixteenth of an inch, but she wouldn't budge, because Rules are Rules. Luckily, I still had a canvas in the locker room for this painting, "Emonde Maître" by Frédéric Bazille, which I had been going to paint last summer, but instead took the aforementioned hiatus. She renewed my permit for that painting, and I shifted mental gears, and started copying M. Maître.

Turns out, this is an engaging portrait to copy. The subject had a very delicate bone structure, visible because of his leanness. I took this photo after working all morning on getting everything correctly drawn on my canvas. I spent a lot of time carefully measuring and remeasuring. After lunch, I adjusted my drawing and covered almost all the canvas with paint - my first shot at getting the colors and values right. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture at the end of the day, so you have to wait until next Friday. I'll photograph it before I get started next week so you can see how far I got on Day 1. Click on the image for a larger view.