Thursday, September 24, 2015

Building a Body for Clyde

This is Clyde - an actor in a local movie about the famous Bonnie and Clyde.  I am using his photo I made at the Selma Pilgrimage a few years ago in our class on figures.

Clyde will make a good subject so that we can learn to build the form - from the ground up, so to speak.

Here is how it went together:

the reference pic:

1.  Clyde is tipping his hat on a shady porch.  Starting with placing his feet and declaring where the top of his hat lies is the beginning.  From there, the angles of his body are figured from bottom to top and out the sides where his arms and legs go.

2.  This is painted over a sanded off previous painting that didn't make the cut.   This second layer of oil paint works easily over the previous one.   The light marks are where the sanding went over the textured gessoed layer.     I am totally ignoring  the underneath colors.
Determining where the sun strikes across his body seems important, as well as the cut of the coat as he raises his arm to tip the hat.

Watch later as I change the angles of the legs to go under the body.

3.  Still building color by color - which is shape by shape.   Where the shadows make dark shapes makes definition - just have to get them measured.    Grey hair suggested on the head, which needs to be tilted to the left.   that's done by cutting the background (bluish) along the right side of the head.    The shirt can't remain that intense and light.

4.   Working on the arm and hat to get that tilt of head......where is that ear?   Shadows in the folds get more important,

5.  Got to have some skin color in shade and the grey hair defined and the "air" on the left side of the face, and also the vest separating from the coat needs definition.   And the hand.     Just after this, I start to make a suitable background with something like patio stones for him to stand on.

6.   So he gets buttons.  and some suggestion of the grey short beard.   Later I will suggest more on the hand and the shadowed face.  

The body is built starting at the feet, determining where the angles of arms and legs fall in relation to the head angle.   That gets refined with every brushstroke.
Tomorrow in class we'll see if I can rebuild him.  I have the advantage of painting this once and the students will be painting this without the familiarity I have.
Thanks for following!

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