Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Allegory of Poetry

My first (somewhat) large multi- figure painting: "The Allegory of Poetry"  I had three of my cousins pose for me at my Grandma's farm this summer and am excited to start this one!  24x36, pretty good sized but not overwhelming.  I started the drawing thinking it would be 30x40, but realized a more vertical composition would emphasize the figures better, so I cropped it a bit.

 The painting is about the romantic notion of  poetry, the characters represent the muse whispering to the inspired who spends time in nature, surrounded by beauty and involving herself in the writing of others, and the act of writing, creation, the outcome of inspiration. I'm inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, both technically with a focus on nature, vivid jewel like colors, and attention to detail, and also thematically with an emphasis on the idealism and beauty as integral pieces in the puzzle of art.  However, Often in classical or medieval paintings of both the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and the academic artists, the figures have an element of sameness about them, I want my characters to remain unique, specific young women at a specific time, no ambiguity or generic faces and figures, which adds to the theme.
Drawing to be transfered
Full Chromatic Palette

Poster Study 8x10
Drawing inked onto Canvas
Imprimatura: Ivory Black and Transp. yellow oxide

Full color under-painting
Because color is so important in this painting, I decided to do a full color wash in for the under painting instead of the value oriented under painting in raw umber that I would normally do.
The Block in is painted with full bodied, straight tube paint.  I used a full palette for most of it, but simplified it quite a bit for the skin tones.  Because I have a tendency to use too much orange or yellow and I wanted a cool pink skin tone, I basically just used black, white, and red, using yellow ochre and raw umber sparingly.

Here's an update, you can see I'm working from the bottom right, slowly adding more detail at this point I figure I'm a little more than half way done, I've worked between 60 and 70 hours on it at this point.
I'm about at the end of the second layer, I'll start the finish next week
And finished!