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Painting on a Bad Canvas and some figure drawings

May 7, 2009

In December, while I was contemplating starting to paint in oils, I recuperated a couple of canvases from a starving British artist I know, who’d decided to throw in the towel on his dream of living from his art in France, at least until he could make a little money teaching design back in London.  Two things should have tipped me off that this was not a good idea:  a) he was starving b) he left them behind.

Despite my inexperience, I could tell that these were just cheapo cotton canvas, but I thought I could work on them anyway. On top of that, I set up a ridiculously complicated still life, for my level of skill.  So while I’m sort of proud of myself for getting it done at all, it really is a shame that the underlying texture shows through, and it makes it very difficult to fine-tune the detail.

Well, it’s finished – I’m not going to touch it anymore and I’ve learned a valuable lesson. And next time I paint – on decent linen canvas – it will be a pleaure.

Last night my life drawing group started up again, after a break for Easter vacation.  I almost forgot to go, and rushed out at the last minute with an 11″by14″ sketchbook and a couple of pencils. I’m so glad I that I went, because it was one of our very best models, and she announced that it was her last time ever, as she’s found a real job in another part of France. These are smaller format than I’m used to, but I’m thinking of projecting them onto larger format watercolor paper and playing with watercolor, as I’ve done in the past .  I need to release some frustration after each oil painting, it seems…

(That little black box is a heater – I couldn’t see through it, so I drew it in!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2009 9:44 am

    I’m glad she had a heater – what makes a good model Casey? I just wonder…
    I look forward to seeing your projected watercolor – they are so cool

  2. May 7, 2009 11:27 am

    I think your work in oils is amazing! It looks to me as if you have been using them your entire life. But I also really like your figure drawing. How long were each of these poses? You need to schedule enough time with us in the City so we can go to any number of drop-in Figure Drawing sessions. I’m sure the guys can fill the time with wine and a chat….

  3. May 7, 2009 12:52 pm

    Love the sketches and would love seeing watercolor work from them.

  4. May 7, 2009 2:19 pm

    Your oil work is awesome. It looks as if you’ve always work in oil’s. So glad you are sharing them with us.

    Love your figure drawing also.

  5. May 7, 2009 3:14 pm

    I’m looking at this latest oil painting, Casey and thinking: What is there not to like?! Look at the soft natural drape of that tea towel for a start. I like the fact that the picture isn’t too finely tuned. I will agree that your oils deserve the best canvas support though:)

    Your figure drawings just get better and better. Looking forward to more of your wonderful big watercolours.

  6. annie permalink
    May 7, 2009 5:59 pm

    Ooops, lost that comment. Here I go, again. I agree with Robyn, what’s not to like in that painting– and it doesn’t have to be finely tuned. I am excited by the
    reflections and lights on that glass– sparkling.

    I also am waiting with Jean and others to see more watercolor work with the sketches.

  7. Nath permalink
    May 7, 2009 7:29 pm

    Je ne commente pas souvent mais je viens très souvent et j’admire ! Beau coup de crayon !

  8. malelaa permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:12 pm

    J’aime bien la nature morte ,et les croquis de nus sont superbes!!!

  9. May 8, 2009 4:47 pm

    I think your still life has come out really well. I do know what you mean about how horrid it is painting on a poor canvas – i’ve fallen into the same trap.

    Like your figure studies. I’ve also included a fan heater in one of mine recently!

  10. May 8, 2009 7:05 pm

    It’s all wonderful! The light and colors and dimensionality and textures in the oil painting are fabulous. I’ve started my first attempt with the Carder method after spending most of last weekend trying to get all the stuff set up and the lights balanced, etc. I’m not having anywhere near the results as you but am learning a lot. I hope to finish this one, post it and start another. But the weather is so beautiful right now it’s hard to close all the black blinds, and live in a cave to paint.

    The figure drawings are really exceptional. You have such skill at creating the illusion of 3-D, and weight with simple pencil sketching. It’s clear a lot of practice is behind these sketches.

  11. May 8, 2009 10:50 pm

    beautiful beautiful work, casey.
    why don’t i visit here more often?
    your work is STUNNING.

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