Interesting failures

Not every painting is a success, but I try to learn from mistakes. In today’s life session, my back was hurting, but I tried to stand so I could view the model from the same vantage point I had last week. Not smart! I had trouble concentrating, and the figure did not improve. After a while I gave up, sat down, and just started messing around with the background instead. Not a huge success, but still interesting.

Geoff Watson, “Not my best,”oil study on panel, 12” x 16,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Not my best,”oil study on panel, 12” x 16,” 2018.

Yesterday I had a different kind of failure. I drew a pretty good likeness of the model, and my first wash of watercolor enhanced it. I should have stopped there! Instead I overworked it. Then I compounded the error by adding eye detail after the model was gone, and of course I got them wrong, lol. You can get away with that in oil, as it’s easy to wipe out mistakes. Not so with watercolors! (A comedy of errors: my computer isn’t letting me upload it. Maybe for the best!)

Wayne in profile

I had less than two hours to paint Wayne, but I was pleased with the results. I’ve given him a somewhat unhappy look, but it’s pretty faithful to how he appeared: he was holding a difficult pose involving ropes and cuffs! 

Geoff Watson, “Wayne in profile,” oil on canvas panel, 9” x 12,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Wayne in profile,” oil on canvas panel, 9” x 12,” 2018.

Emily, backlit

Today we did more quick figure studies in life class, and again I did several charcoal drawings that I may post later. For now, here’s a look at a 45-minute oil sketch. I was mostly interested in the backlighting around her head and upper body.

Geoff Watson, “Emily, backlit”, oil study on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Emily, backlit”, oil study on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Figure sketches in watercolor

Today I brought a miniature watercolor set to the Art Students League in New York. Short poses are always a challenge, but especially in watercolor! Here is a 15-minute aketch. 

Geoff Watson, “Monica,” watercolor sketch on paper, about 5” x 7,” 2017.

Geoff Watson, “Monica,” watercolor sketch on paper, about 5” x 7,” 2017.

And here are a couple 5-minute poses.

Geoff Watson, “Monica reclining,” watercolor sketch on paper, 5” x 7,” 2017.

Geoff Watson, “Monica reclining,” watercolor sketch on paper, 5” x 7,” 2017.

Geoff Watson, “Monica sketch,” watercolor on paper, about 4” x 6,” 2017.

Geoff Watson, “Monica sketch,” watercolor on paper, about 4” x 6,” 2017.

Wayne

Wayne was a last-minute substitute model in today's life-painting session; the scheduled model failed to show. Wayne turned out to be great! He showed up with ropes and posed with them. We started with a couple 10-monute poses. Here's one.

Geoff Watson, "Hauling," carbon pencil on paper, 9" x 12," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Hauling," carbon pencil on paper, 9" x 12," 2017.

Then it was the main event -- a long pose of about 90 minutes. This is not a great photo, but it does show my main focus -- the intense light on Wayne's left shoulder. 

Geoff Watson, "Wayne," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Wayne," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2017.

Hockey sketches

Do cold watercolors freeze? To test this important question, I brought my watercolors to the Rockville Ice Arena, where my daughter was playing hockey. I did a few sketches of the players, and my paints remained liquid. Plus my kid's team won. All in all, it was a successful outing! 

Geoff Watson, "Hockey sketches," watercolor on paper, 4" x 12," 2017.

Geoff Watson, "Hockey sketches," watercolor on paper, 4" x 12," 2017.