Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2013

HolbeinLadyHolbein must have been charming, wise and super-diplomatic.  He drew the ladies of the court of Henry VIII and had to paint the big burly beheading  potentate himself. You remember six-wives Henry, the one who said, “Off with your head, Ann Boleyn!”  Hans Holbein(1497-1543) was a skilled draftsman, but was his hand shaking a little, just a little, when he faced the vain, all-powerful king?

When we draw people, we’re HolbeinHenryVIIIoften constrained by the desire to please them.  Your art gets cramped when you’re focused on anything but your art.  So, off with your head, I’m drawing!  When we have a model, I remind the students that they’re not drawing to please the model but only to struggle with their work, the medium, the concept, the surprises that occur in the working process.  When we don’t have a model, we often work from printed images.  In this case, a student/artist chose a photo of the young Queen Elizabeth, when she visited Chicago in the ‘50’s.  Notice that

13MaggieQueenFourthese drawings are not flattering, but instead explore the potential of the medium to create a page of studies with mood QueenEliz1and character.  The markmaking is scratchy, the contours are blurred, and oh, the drips!  To mood and character, let’s add a touch of irony.  Once you know that The Queen was the model, the page becomes a bit comical, which makes you reflect deeper and that’s a good thing.  When that happens, you’re looking at art.

Maggy  Shell, worked on gloss paper with the Stabilo-All-Aquarellable pencil.———–

13MaggieQueenFive

QueenEliz2All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

13PattyCohenRedBlackFinal

Could the artist/student, Patty Cohen, add more paint, scrape some off, glue raw canvas onto the surface, punch a hole….?  Of course, all sorts of things can be done to this image at any stage of its development.  But, it was declared finished in the last class of Spring term.  “Finished” means “resolved.”   Nobody can explain exactly what “resolved” means, but the artist knows—and feels the resolution.
The rich texture cannot be duplicated here.  I just want to point to the dynamic of its composition:  zigzag plus stability.

13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalLines

The three black areas (connected by yellow lines in my analysis) move the eye to read a triangle firmly planted on a 13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalLside that is parallel to the bottom edge of the canvas.  That imparts a feeling of stability, which makes for a solid context in which the zigzags can go wild (blue, green).  Notice also that the upper left section is not as tame as it may at first appear.  It’s in muted tones, but is sectioned (pink) in such a way that its forms converge towards the middle.  This subtle focus also adds to the sense of stability—we like looking at the center of a painting.

Y13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalRou would think that such a turbulent composition would work in another orientation.  If you rotate the canvas, however, you’ll see that the other three orientations don’t work.  My sense is that this is due to the three black areas, which we prefer in the form a triangle (yellow) that’s firmly grounded.

Congratulations, Patty!

A13PattyCohenRedBlackFinalFlipll contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

130516LifeStudiesKEH3BlogThese are two-minute poses. Between poses, there’s no time to switch to another page.  All six poses are scribbled on the same paper. I encourage my students to let the figures overlap because overlapping takes us away from the clarity of illustration and into greater tension and dynamic.

Above, the page I did in class.  Below, the page as I developed it later in my studio.  I used the Stabilo-All-Aquarellable pencil on gloss paper, 11 x 17.

130516LifeStudiesKEH3bBlogAll contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

13LornaRocksOne

This large painting (30” x 40”) was inspired by a photo of rocks on a sea shore.  You can probably guess that the arrangement of the rocks corresponds roughly to the large ocher area on the left.  After that the paint takes over.  The artist/student, Lorna Grothe,  is finished with representation after that.  The rocks have served their purpose.  Where does all that purple come from?  You can be sure the ocean was not purple in the photo.  The painting has taken over.

The first stage, just purple and ocher, is shown above. Then 130509Lornashe added the large white.  Then some more patches of color, black and red, over the purple.  After that she was at a loss over what to do next.  Because acrylic dries fast, we were able to jiggle the imagination by just sticking some scraps of paper on the painting surface.  The next image shows the painting with these patches of color ripped from a magazine.  You can’t do this if you’re working in oil because the oil dries so slowly.  But here we have an advantage of acrylic:  when you’re stuck, just glue some patches onto the surface to help you imagine the work anew.

130516Lorna1After all the snippets of paper were removed, her sense of the work was refreshed and Lorna moved into the last stage.  Here’s the final painting, at least for this term.  Work may continue on this painting, but it may also be considered completed.

13LornaFinalAll contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »