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Latest Painting (slight nudity)

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Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:11 am

"Clytie" oils on panel, 20x36
Based on a story in Greek Mythology.

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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:37 am

Very nice rendering and composition.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:05 am

Thank-you.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby davideo » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:24 pm

Hi PainterX (John?)- I see your skillful array of paintings at your gallery and I am wondering how you arrive at your subject material. Where do you get models, dresses etc, if I may ask. Every now and then my inclinations return to Pre-Raphaelite type subjects, but other than copying ( attempting to) a PRB picture, I never really find my way into that mode. In "Clytie", would you arrange the composition in a graphics program first? Basically I wonder how you get these themes together. It can be easier said than done I suspect.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:22 pm

Hi David,

Most of my material is from mythology or mythology oriented. For example, "Clytie" is a story in Greek mythology. Just not a well known one. Some subjects are from classic literature. So in essence, I am drawing on the same subject matter as the Pre-Raphaelites. Sometimes it can take years to come up with my own spin on a subject they have done, because I want to do some that is at least as good. "Andromeda" took about five years and dozens of thumbnail concepts until I struck upon the viewing angle I used to tell her story. I always approach from a narrative (story) angle first, then one of just pure aesthetics (beauty). Personally I have a penchant for pathos so many of my concepts center around that, more so than drama or action.

I am always thinking about and drawing up ideas and I have sketchbook filled with them, but I try to keep "Sturgeon's Law' in mind (90% of everything is crap) and will toss aside 9 out of every 10 ideas I come up with and only focus on the top 10%. I try to be objective about this, at least as best I can. One objective I have to to try to craft an image in the most realistic way I can, even if the idea/subject is fantastical (like "Rapunzel"). That's just a personal thing of mine.

How do I come up with ideas? First, I'm 58 so I have always fed that part of my mind that engages in imagination in every way possible so that my mind has developed that "muscle," like a body builder develops real muscle tissue. The result of this is that my mind's eye is always throwing images at me without much effort on my part. I always have my sketchbook handy or a piece of paper, to jot them down. As I said, only about one in ten is worth pursuing and developing. Secondly, I look at the works of others for inspiration. Wondering if I could do the same concept as well or even better? And then I'll spend some time trying to tackle it.

I use models, take reference photos with my phone camera when I see things I can use, when I am outside driving or walking about and use stock photos to help me craft an idea that I have sketched. I buy costumes and props off Ebay (the ones from China are cheap - in both senses) and they work well enough. Sometime I will take the various photos items and put them together in Photoshop to see how the image will work. I'll post some examples later. Time for dinner.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:16 pm

I did a painting of "Lady of the Lake" (Nivian) about ten years ago. First I read her story for ideas. It seemed to me that I had one of two choices, to paint her death (beheaded by a knight) or the classic moment of her presenting Excalibur to King Arthur. I couldn't find where anyone did the former so I gave it a go. Problem was that every idea I came up with it seemed the knight was the main subject and not Nivian. Also, it tended to be a gruesome idea. So I went for latter. Problem with that is so many have painted it and some of them are classics (like N.C.Wyeth) making an original take difficult. But I finally came up with an take on the scene that I could not find others have done (using Google search). Most (including Wyeth) have her arm holding the sword out of the water as Arthur approaches or takes it from her. I decided to use the image as a metaphor for her. In the Arthurian legends she's a rather amoral character, a troublemaker and was a student/lover of Merlin. To show the magical side I have her rising from the water, to show the troublemaker side I have the water at her feet being turbulent and stirring up the flora and fauna of the lake. She'll hold Excalibur and have a look on her face of sorrow as she doesn't want to part with her, showing she has no concern for social hierarchy given it's the king's sword.

Here's the original thumbnail to capture the concept and rough out the composition.



From there I refined it some on tracing paper. First I did the background. Tracing paper is cheap (I buy it by the roll) and can turn it over and look at the other side to check for image distortions.



This was based on a photo composite I threw together in Photoshop.



Photograph of model. Ebay sword prop and had my daughter sow a simple skirt. Model provided the top.



Drew the model on tracing paper.



Consulting with some other artists I decided to add a fantastical element with a serpent rising out of the water with her, along with the planned various plant and animal life native to the UK that live in a lake. Also changed the hair so it flowed on one side, unlike the thumbnail (both sides) and the photo where it hangs straight down. I did an image search for lake creatures and plants and constructed them around her. Unfortunately I can't find the images of those sketches, I must not have scanned them in. Nor do I have a scan of the detailed drawing with all the elements combined together. But here's a shot of me starting the painting, where you can see all the full composition in the beginning stages.



Here's the first phase of the painting. You can see I changed my mind about the sky and decided to do a cloudy sky that was foreshadowing in nature.



I thought it needed more and I did something I rarely do and that was to make major changes a couple of years later. This is the finished painting.




I made a turbulence line in the water, added more dark elements and the geese flying in the background (symbolizing Arthur) and here I felt I had not only a more complete story but a better and more interesting composition.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:41 pm

Next I'll show you the development phases for an character (Samson) I wanted to do for years, but was never happy with the ideas I came up with, until now (I think)

Here are some ideas which span ten years.




One problem with doing a Samson painting is that Solomon Joseph Solomon has done what I consider to be not only the best Samson painting ever done by an artist, but one that's possibly unsurpassable.

https://images.fineartamerica.com/image ... olomon.jpg

Here is my latest idea for Samson, I like this the best. It's subtle and shows the foreshadowing of the Christ story within the Samson story. Here, as a director, I pulled in for a tighter short, making the story more personable, adding pathos and making it more real. The top is the thumbnail and the bottom is a more detailed thumbnail. I added a vase to cut down on the symmetry. It overlaps the one column (which is important). But I think I need to add something else and I am working on a pose for Delilah in the background next to the vase. But for now I like this idea the best.



After I determine Delilah's place and pose I'll need to line up models. There are no stock services I can think of which would give me a pose like this for Sampson or Delilah in a period costume.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:45 pm

One last thing, here's a "doodle sheet" that I had on my computer desk to quickly put down mental images when they suddenly came to me. Even if I thought the idea was minimal I still quickly drew it because I wanted to encourage by brain to keep the imagination pathways strong and growing.

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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:04 am

Thanks for sharing your thinking and processes for creating a painting. I just love the light source coming from the sword in the Lady of the Lake painting which I think is a magnificent painting. Of course I knew I wasn't alone with the thinking part of the creating process, but what a pleasure to read how another artist goes about it, especially the comments about it sometimes taking a few years to get the painting where you want it.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:40 am

Thank-you, Carl. "Lady of the Lake" is one of my personal favorites.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby davideo » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:54 pm

Man! I must be careful not to ask such involved questions. Your response is so consummate and elaborate- and is very much appreciated! I also like Lady of the Lake, and feel you improved it with those later additions. Your work habits are interesting and inspirational. Do you have a list of models from which to acquire them? Only once did I hire a life drawing model and took about 12 photos of her. I often see people I would love to be able to paint, faces and or bodies, but one might get shot for approaching them in this regard : ) Was 'Clytie' a model? I am betting it was a stock photo. PX- I would like to thank you for your time and generosity in answering my inquiries. ( P.S. When you make clothes you 'sew' them : ) : ) And thank you for the extensive and majestic vision your work displays. In my heart there is still room today for sincere Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood art.
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Re: Latest Painting (slight nudity)

Postby painterx@hotmail.com » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:59 pm

Thanks, and sorry about the misspelling. I am a two fingered typist and look at the keyboard when I type, not the screen.

Yes, Clytie was a stock photo. I was too impatient to line up models so I searched through photos to find one that best matched my idea.

I have used nude models in the past from live model classes. I will attended class for a few weeks and when I think the model knows I am legit I approach with my thumbnail sketch, my card with my website address and tell her if she poses for me I have a contract which promises the photos will never be posted on the 'net or publicly displayed in anyway. I tell her to check my website to see my work, to bring someone with her and she is to contact me via my email address, I don't ask for hers. Then wait. It usually works out. Finding models to pose in in costume is never a problem. I photographed two of my nieces in medieval costumes this past summer for future paintings.

I'm pleased you found value in the information I posted.

Yep, hard to beat the Pre-Raphaelites and what they tried to accomplish in both craftsmanship and storytelling.
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