Frida Kahlo

a portrait of kahlo

I’ve been a fan of Frida Kahlo for a while but Diego Riviera’s work appeals to me more – for the subject matter and style.

Frida Kahlo 8″ X 10″ Mixed Media on Illustration board


Copy a Master – more Van Gogh

Copy a Master Copy a Master
Copy a Master Copy a Master

“Head of a Peasant Woman in a White Cap” (1884) / “The Zouave”, Arles, 1888 / “Portrait of Patience Escalier”, Arles, 1888 / “Portrait of Armand Roulin” Arles 1888

Worked on these 4 starting last evening. I love Van Gogh’s work and it felt like a shame to not participate properly in the current MOM especially as it had been extended by a month to the end of March. While these are not the piece I had in mind I had a super time working on them. Surprisingly they took a lot more time to complete than I had planned for leaving me quite exhausted. I’m happy to report that all this practice using acrylics is helping me get (re)familiar with the medium.

These were made for the Van Gogh MOM thread over at Wetcanvas! and for the 30dayartist.

8″ X 10″ acrylics on illustration board.

Copying the Masters

I’ve participated in a couple of MOM’s over at WetCanvas! Happy to have come across the Jan/Feb MOM on Van Gogh in time. Here is my attempt at copying a self portrait made by Van Gogh while at Saint Remy (1889) to reassure his mother that all was well. He looked particularly handsome in this one.  The colours of the reference found on the web are duller than the ones in my book. Not sure which is accurate.  Unfortunately, I have made his face shorter and wider, eyes larger, nose even larger proportionately than in the original.  I must have a go at this in oil.  Must also procure a larger reference as the proportions get messed up if the difference in size is too much.

A copy of Van Gogh's Self PortraitA copy of Van Gogh's Self Portrait as St RemySelf Portrait at Saint Remy - 1889

A holiday, art supplies and Freud

Bali October 2007

We had a super holiday in Indonesia. 4 days in Bali followed by 2 in Jakarta. Wonderful company, fantastic hotel property and great restaurants. The hotel gardens were well maintained and there were a variety of plants but what made it memorable for me were the gorgeous Frangipani and Bougainvillea plants with their pink and white flowers. It was tropically green everywhere you looked with small pools filled with Koi all over the place. Everyday we were out for lunch or dinner or both. Some shopping thrown in and time in the pool. The water was tepid and heavenly. We even made it to Ubud and the artist village for half a day. A busy holiday.

Bali October 2007 Bali October 2007

No holiday is complete without a visit to the local art supply store and can one ever leave empty handed? It was toss up between these lovely wooden sculptures that I’d picked up, my existing supplies and finding space for new ones. I couldnt go overboard 😀 Copic Markers, Sakura Pigma brush pens, a Koi water brush which dismantles to half the regular size and some charcoal.

art supplies

Inspite of being busy and on holiday, I was feeling guilty. Specially since we were carrying a bag weighing quite a few kilos, full of books and art supplies. And I kept wondering how people find the time to sketch on short holidays 😦 Staying up late one night, I copied one of Freud’s paintings. The girl in the painting is beautiful with translucent skin. This turned out quite messy and ugly. I was sleepy and gave up. Last night I touched it up using the new art supplies. Gave up again and copied a second one. Both are disasters. Both will be attempted again. Making this post with the hopes that it will get me started with drawing or painting everyday.

Attempt at copying Lucien Freud 1 Attempt at copying Lucien Freud 2

Project Andrew Wyeth

Drawing upside downaw-wip

I’m participating in the next MOM too and they are looking at Andrew Wyeth’s work on WetCanvas for the months of March and April. I havent managed to locate as many references as I would’ve liked. There are a couple of portrait photographs of the artist available online and he makes a very interesting subject himself! The first one has been made by turning the reference upside down. The second one was started yesterday in Art Rage. The photo above shows different points of time when I saved the file. I’ve decided to stop work on it…… for now 😀 This thread will be updated with all further work related to this project and move to the top of the list based on that day.

Project Matisse

Henri Matisse - Self Portrait - 1918

Copy of Matisse’s Self Portrait 1918

Feb 8, 2007: The chosen Master for the months of Jan and Feb ’07 over at WetCanvas! is Henri Matisse. I have been enjoying this project too especially all the lovely colours that I’m getting to use. My first 3 attempts are digital. Oils in Art Rage 2. As in the past, this post will get updated with all further attempts too. I’m hoping to make the next one of one of his still life paintings.

Copy of Madame Matisse, “The Green Line” ( La Raie verte). 1905
mrs matisse - copy a master

Copy of Self-Portrait in a Striped T-Shirt. 1906
matisse self p - copy a master

Copy of Portrait of André Derain. 1905
andre derain  - henri matisse - copy a master

Update : Feb 28, 2007 : Just managed to squeeze in the last one for this MOM. I have tried to copy one more of Matisse’s Self Portraits.  This one is dated 1918 and you can see the original here. This MOM thread too will remain open and we can continue to post but I wanted to meet the commitment I had made to myself to make at least one that was not digital. This one is made with oil pastels on the reverse side of a 8 X 10 mount board. It’s still WIP and I’ll be visiting the Oil Pastels sub forum for some tips and help to finish it.

Henri Matisse - Self Portrait - 1918

After Amedeo Modigliani

I’ve been a member at WetCanvas! for quite a while now, putting up entries in bursts. I’ve been wanting to participate in Weekend Drawing Event (WDE) and to paint a Master of the Month (MOM) for quite a while now. MOM is the study of a master artist and his work, style and techniques by copying one of two selected pieces. There is also an option of selecting from two photos from the Image Reference Library to create your own work in the style and/or technique of the featured master .

I’ve decided to have a go at this MOM since the artist for the months of September and October is Amedeo Modigliani, one of my favourites. I had the good fortune of seeing the exhibition, Modigliani – Beyond the Myth, a couple of years ago. This exhibit had a large collection of his work. Here are links to the reviews of that exhibition in Lancette and The Julliard Journal.

To ensure that I do participate I’m making the preliminary sketches public hoping that it forces me to at least make a serious attempt at completing this project. I hope to do more than one and would like to start with a painting in his style. I’ll be using a B&W photo reference of Modigliani’s to make this portrait. My first attempts at converting the photograph into what I think would be a drawing in Modigliani’s style. Made on 8″X10″ paper in ink.

Amadeo Modigliani Amadeo Modigliani

Update: Sep 6: Selecting colors for the final piece. I tried a color sketch. I’m a bit irritated that I didn’t wait to get a photocopy of the drawing coz now I’ll just have to draw it again for the next bunch of colors. I’m happy with the orange but not with the blue and umber of his sweater. I’m thinking of using sap green / burnt umber instead. It should go better with the orange background as well. Made on 8″ X 10″ paper using poster colors

Color sketch color sketch 2

Update: Sep 7: Color Selection continues – tried another color combination from the colors used in his portrait of Chaim Soutine. also Modigliani had painted a light blue sweater wrapped around his neck in his last self portrait and I wanted to get that but mine turned out too bright. Made on 8″ X 10″ paper using poster colors
Color Sketch 3Color Sketch 4cs-5.jpg

Update: Sep 8: Color selection finalised using quick studies – Tried out 3 more variations and I’m thinking of going with the one with the orange background, olive green sweater and dark, filled in eyes.

I made these in ArtRage using the last one that I had painted as a base. The first one took me a bit of time as I was familarizing myself with using the tablet instead of paper but the next two which were just a change in the color of the sweater took me a few minutes each. Really neat. I cant praise ArtRage enough. I’ve opened and quickly closed Photoshop many times finding it too complicated and bit overwhelming to start. This one is the first that I’ve found in quite a while that is easy, capable, fun to use and its free! 😀

Update: Sep 11: Choosing to do the Bonus option of copying one of Modigliani’s nudes, “Seated Nude 2”. He did a series of nudes on commission for the art dealer Leopold Zborowski. These form the bulk of the 30 odd nudes that he painted. The group has the option of trying out one of his nudes and I chose this one. I made the drawing with pencil on 12″ X 14″ paper. I’m hoping to gesso it and finish it in oil.

Seated Nude 2Elena Povolozky

Update: Sep 16: Copying his painting of “Elena Povolozky“. I got stuck while trying to move to working on a canvas. Friends on the forum were very encouraging and it had me wanting to do something and here is the result of my effort. A copy of his painting of Elena Povolozky. Turned out a bit manly but I’m pleased with the colors [ I was until I saw the online reference – all the works printed in my book are very very dark 😦 ] and to have learnt that Modigliani seemed to have painted form effortlessly.

Update : Oct 3 : Painting the nude in oil and copying “Man with a Pipe”: The first layer of oils were added about 10 days back and the second just yesterday. Still a long way to go.

Seated Nude 2Seated Nude 2

and then a short while back I decided to have a go at the Man with a Pipe (The Notary of Nice). This I like almost as much as the man with the orange background 😀 I had planned to use poster colors but ended up using Art Rage. I’ve used Layers again and seemed to have done a bit better with them this time. The yellow background was fun to do. I’ve got some really nice comments for this one on Flickr and I’m thinking of having a go at it with my poster colors too. 😛

man with yellow background

Charles Baudelaire put up a couple of good links in the MOM post on WetCanvas! on Modigliani and his style of painting which I’d like to keep with this post
1. A pencil drawing of the Seated Nude on the MOMA site.
2. Seated Nude Painting with an X-Rayed image of it. See smaller versions side by side on the Art & Architecture, UK website.

Update : Oct 11 : Copying “The Man with the Orange Background”. The paint on the nude is not dry as yet and I havent started work on the Modigliani Portrait. Decided to try out a new medium for this one. It’s one of my favorites, man with the orange background. It’s still WIP. I’m surfing the colour pencil forum on WetCanvas! to see how I can make this better. Rubbing alcohol or turpentine is one of the options I’m considering 😛 Using a set of 12 Color Pencils on 8″ X 10″ paper.
WIP - Man with the orange backgroundWIP 2 - Man with orange background

Update : Oct 16, 29, 30 & 31st: Photo Reference of Modigliani sitting in his Studio to be made using his style. I’ve changed my mind yet again 😀 and have decided that the B&W photograph of Modigliani sitting on a chair in his studio would be a better one to attempt. The canvas has been primed – finally :P. It’s a bit big at 24″ X 30″. And below is the digital study that’s been made to select the colors that i’d like to use. Last nights efforts had to be wiped clean luckily it just spurred me on and today’s attempt has been photographed and put below. It needs to be reduced but I needed to step back and that’s what i’m doing now :P. More work on it tomorrow.

Update : Nov 3, 2006 :  Took a break for a couple of days as I wanted Burnt Umber and didnt have any.  Today I surfed and found out at that I could make it by mixing Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Sienna.  Needed that for his suit.  Also lightened the background.  I need to go back in an make it darker behind him after the paint has dried.
Modigliani in his studio - ref modi portrait for colors WIP - Modigliani in his studioWIP 2 - Modigliani in his Studio WIP 3 - Modigliani in his Studio Day 4 - Modigliani in his Studio

Update: Oct 28, 2006 : I had thought that there would be just the oil painting of the study above but I’ve yet to start it. While on holiday I made a pen & ink sketch from a photo reference. Was trying to kill time in between flights. I think I might like to make an etching with this sketch as a reference.