I just got a new DVD yesterday and I’ve been watching it and figured I’d give it a shot this evening. I received the Jeffrey Watts DVD of Gesture Painting in Oils. I haven’t done any figure paintings ever. Well, except for a really bad self-portrait that I did in a class a few months ago that shall never see the light of day. By the way, that reminds me, where is that painting and a can of gesso?
Now Jeff’s DVD dealt with doing portraits in the gesture style, but I wanted to experiment with a little bigger subject matter. So I decided to do a landscape painting, a painting of one my favorite types of landscape, that of the female body. As Renoir was want to say, “I don’t know if I would have become an artist if God hadn’t created the female breast.”
I also decided to experiment with one of the palettes that Jeff goes over on the DVD, that of the Zorn palette. This painting was done with that palette and nothing else. It consists of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre and cad red light. That’s all.
Using this limited palette does one thing for me, it speeds up the painting time. Without a pizza pan full of colors to choose from it is pretty easy to look and see what is needed and mix it quickly on the palette. This painting took me one hour, start to finish. I’m sure to some it looks like it took an hour, but I am quite happy with it. I still fussed with some of the strokes more than I should have, but not as much as I usually do.
So, this is my first foray into figurative painting and it won’t be my last. There is one other item that Jeff brought up in his video and I will save that for the next post if I decide to go with it.
10×8″ oil on linen panel.