Daily Painting Challenge, 30 paintings in 30 days. Day 16

Nude with anthurium, 11"x14", acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin
Nude with anthurium, 11″x14″, acrylic on canvas, © 2014 Donna Grandin

I painted this nude from life earlier, but today I added the anthurium flower and reworked the painting to give it a more subtle/soft mood to enhance and play up the feminine subject & the softness of skin. I did however try to keep as much of the original painting as possible.

Several of my artist friends are figurative painters, and sometimes I join them for life drawing sessions organized by 337 Sketch Gallery, upstairs 337 Ottawa St. N, Hamilton, ON. There is no instructor, but Anne is the facilitator – we all contribute towards the model fees and snack. It’s an enjoyable way to spend the evening, and a valuable practice for an artist to maintain, even when it is separate from their regular body of art like it is for me.

Every now and then I do something that l’m proud of, like this sketch of a female model.

Nude sketch, 22"x28", conté on cartridge paper, © 2012 Donna Grandin
Nude sketch, 22″x28″, conté on cartridge paper, © 2012 Donna Grandin

However, most of the time I jump in with colour long before I’ve resolved issues with the drawing and try to build the form that way. That may be partly because of the way I paint, and partly because I don’t draw from the figure often enough have an intimate knowledge of the musculature etc. Anyway, since I see this as an exercise, and I don’t plan on doing anything with the finished drawing, I’m more willing to take risks and make bold moves. Which often means I’ll experiment and the piece ends up being mixed media, like the one below.

Male nude sketch, 20"x28", mixed media, © 2012 Donna Grandin
Male nude sketch, 20″x28″, mixed media, © 2012 Donna Grandin

The great thing about these sessions is that we are painting from a real live model as opposed to a photo, so not only is there more information to take in, but you have to stay in the moment to get as much out of the session as you can.

This is a form of daily painting, like plein air painting, and the best part of it is seeing directly how an artist thinks. Ideally, each stroke tells something about how the work was made, and this directness probably conveys more about the artist’s initial reaction to the subject than if the painting is worked on through several sessions. At its core, there is something spiritual about this practice, something to do with the mind, spirit & body connection.




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