So… children’s lips are very difficult. Their heads are somewhat shaped differently than adults. There’s more fat in their faces so it looks like their mouths protrude out more. It’s difficult to draw dimples and not make them look like wrinkles. The key thing here I think is the eyes. These don’t really look like children’s lips, but I have a feeling they would if their eyes were there. That seems to be a common theme. Most expression is in the eyes, so I’ve been finding there’s a lot of information missing without them.
So, if you’ve been following this 30 portraits in 30 days exercise, you know that I’ve already failed! It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, let alone a picture of a portrait I’ve painted, but here’s some pictures of my trip to the Milan Cathedral to make it up to you:
The Cathedral was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. I went to the top of the cathedral, which was exhilarating and terrifying, but I did it! The inside of the cathedral did not disappoint either! The line coming through the stained glass decorated the columns with color, it was truly a magical site.
I even got to see the underbelly of the cathedral, which included the tomb of St. Charles Borromeo, whom I learned was a leading figure in the counter-reformation.
There was even an archaeological site, underneath. Which were the ruins of a baptismal font of what reminded me heavily of the art and handiwork of early Christian catacombs I saw in Rome two years ago.
The large ruin of the baptismal font wasn’t the only amazing thing in there, but there was some beautiful pottery, coins, and remnants of mosaics displayed behind glass. It was really an amazing site.
Anyway, sorry I don’t have more to say at this moment. I’ve been painting and blogging to distract myself from studying for midterms, which are approaching fast. -.-
Haven’t had a chance to get the paint I need. I know I will not tomorrow because I have a long day of classes ahead of me tomorrow. So, I decided to draw a portrait instead.
This is Madonna from Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Madonna of the Rocks”. Like in the spirit of Da Vinci, whose sketchbooks are filled with the same drawings over and over of the same studies he did before even touching the canvas, I’m going to draw this portrait again tomorrow, and then paint it on Wednesday when I finally have my time and resources.
So, today, still wanting to keep with making copies of paintings with high contrast, I made a Carvaggio copy this time. This is Judith’s face from Carvaggio’s “Judith Beheading Holofernes.”
While I personally, like this better than my Girl With a Girl Earring copy, from yesterday, it’s not perfect, obviously, you look at this and see the original face, and it doesn’t really the same girl.
Here’s some observations I’ve made:
Both women’s skin look REALLY pale. Their skins look cold. Dead even. It’s freaking creepy, man.
During this, and yesterday’s painting, I realized that I have two cold yellow tubes instead of one cold and one warm. I don’t have a warm yellow tube. Why is this important?
And what the heck is a cold vs warm yellow?
Well, in paints, there’s no such thing a pure yellow, I’m 99% sure anyway. I’ve found that yellow paints are usually on a spectrum of yellow.
Some yellows are closer to orange on the color wheel, and other yellows are closer to green. It’s really difficult if at all possible to find a tube of paint that is pure yellow. So, if you are trying to, say, make an orange, and you mix yellow and red like you would, but your yellow is more leaning towards the green spectrum than the orange, then you’re going to get a really cold, unfeeling orange.
Solution: Easy. Go to the art store and get a yellow from Gamblin’s lovely list here from their “Warm” criteria. I kinda miss Gamblin here in Italy. Their paints are amazing. That’s a pretty nice, warm yellow.
The Faces Do Look Like Human Faces, but They Don’t Look Like the Women They’re Based On
This was a problem I ran into early on when I did my Drawing 30 Portraits in 30 Days was I would, say draw a picture of my sister, but I would draw a girl that looked her age, but it wasn’t really her, just things that are kind of off that are missing the unique features of an individual person’s face.
Now, one can argue this is fine, they look like faces, so who cares if it’s my own style rather than the Master I’m copying? Well, what if I want to paint a portrait of one of my sisters? And I end up making a painting that doesn’t really look like them? What if I have a client that wants me to make a fake of an old master painting or one of their loved ones? Making a face look like someone’s face is a skill I would like to have.
Solution: I think to remedy this, I’m going to draw an outline of the face for the time being. Maybe do a few sketches of the face beforehand.
So, just be clear, I’m not saying my paintings suck (though, I’m sure they might to some of you, and that’s okay. Can’t please everyone), but with my philosophy that art is a skill as much as a form of culture or expression, it can always be improved on. I feel like I’ve already learned a lot from these two paintings and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s will look like.