Plastic Surgery With A Brush

It was the final sitting for this model. I went back the second time and performed “plastic surgery” with the brush.

Light on White Satin

Lilibeth André, Light On White Satin, oil, 24x18.

After the color block-in, I like to go back again and tweak the drawing until I am comfortable with the figure, particularly when it comes to the face. I am keen on likeness and strive until I am convinced I have captured the essence and likeness of the sitter.

In this particular face I did several things after the first work in progress that you saw previously. I reworked the ear, the eye, the nose and part of the head itself until the placement of the features satisfied me. There were some corrections to the arm and hand as well.

Detail, Light on White Satin

Detail, Light on White Satin

After the work was completed I was satisfied that I had captured the model in the final “Light on White Linen”, 24×18, oil.  So now you can see the model from the shadow side in a more frontal pose in the original painting, featured in previous posts, and the new profile view of the model painted from the light side.

Wonderful model, by the way. She stood for the complete sessions maintaining the pose. She would step right back into it after breaks and did a wonderfully professional job.

White Satin In New Light – The Profile

I chose to paint the same model from the light side this time. The pose is the same. I therefore took up an easel on the other side of the studio. I like how the pose looked from this angle and I have the challenge of the profile to work with.

Light White Satin WIP 1

Lilibeth André, WIP Light on White Satin.

Profiles may seem easy but I find them challenging because there is less information to work with. Les points of reference and less shadow to mark the feautres. This is where technical experience comes into play to create the likeness of an individual, not just the painterly effect.

This view of my first work in progress for Light on White Satin presents great light on the fabric. It is a fun piece to work with for that reason. It also presents the completion of the color block-in. I am currently focusing on making corrections on the features to get the best likeness I can achieve.

Vaqueros y Rancheros Featured Artist

Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery in the Houston Heights opens an art exhibit: Vaqueros y Rancheros: America’s Original Cowboys and Ranchers. The exhibition includes vaquero photographs, artifacts, Mexican saddles and other items used by the old vaqueros. The exhibition features artwork from Lilibeth Andre’s Southwest series too.

Obstinance

Lilibeth Andre, Obstinance, Oil, 14x14

The exhibition opens Friday, March 5, and continues through Sunday, March 21, 2010. An opening reception will be held Saturday, March 6, from 2:00-4:00 pm.

Many rodeo skills originated with the vaquero and the exhibition will highlight the important contribution the vaquero and ranchero made to the current cattle and ranching industry.

Casa Ramirez is located at 241 West 19th Street, in the Houston Heights. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm., Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm., and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

For information, contact Macario Ramirez at (713) 880-2420.

So How Do You Choose a Pose?

White Satin 10

Lilibeth André, White Satin 10, oil, 24x18

Several people have asked me how I choose a pose for a portrait. First I like to know what kind of portrait the sitter, or the person making the request, is interested in.

I like to get to know the sitter first. Typically, I like to meet with them, talk and spend some time in their environment. While this is happening I am building mental memory of the person, their personality, and what I percieve in their presence. To help this along, I may take multiple photos and maybe make quick sketches as memory cues that will help me remember all of these things later on. At the same time, I want to put them at ease so they can be themselves. This is particularly important when the sitter will not be sitting for the portrait each time.

Once we have established the size and theme, I will explore several poses and locations until I find the one I feel conveys what we are looking for.

White Satin detail

Lilibeth André, detail White Satin 10, oil

When painting a model in a group setting, I will search for an angle that speaks to me and find my place in the studio. Then I decide what I want to feature. Do I want to represent the face, face and shoulders or include more of the body?

In the piece White Satin, I wanted to include as much of the standing figure as reasonable. I chose the shadow side to build drama into the pose and play up the light on the dress and skin. I liked the pose and I felt my angle portrayed some attitude on the part of the model.

I liked the fresh feel of the portrait and was careful to not overwork it. The focul point is the light that comes across her right shoulder to her chest and barely touches her left arm.

The face has more detail to define the features while maintaining the face in shadow. Only the small amount of light that illuminates the right side of her face is what defines her character.

The result, I believe is a strong and dramatic pose with simplicity to deliver an elegant stance.

New Additions to Mexico Series

Pequeña Oaxaqueña

Lilibeth André, Pequeña Oaxaqueña, oil, 16x12.

Here are my two most recent additions to the Mexico series. Both are oil paintings on a 16×12 canvas board. I enjoyed painting them and look forward to hearing from you  about them.

The first I had featured previously as a work in progress. I find it exciting to see it finished with it’s dappled light and shadows. I like the weight of the woven huipil, and the movement of her skirt as she walks with a happy bounce.

Niña de Trenza

Lilibeth André, Niña de Trenza, oil, 16x12.

The second piece “painted itself”. I just followed with the brush in my hand. I was watching her walk with her mother on the plaza. I asked if I could take a picture. Her mother agreed and I snapped as the young girl walked distractedly looking away to reveal a beautiful profile. I slightly modified the composition and am very happy with the result. I called her a girl with a braid.

Why Paint from Life?

When I realized the difference between painting from a photograph and painting from life, I set myself off to paint from life as much as possible.

Kristina Close Up 2010

Lilibeth André, Kristina Close-up 2010.

Why paint from life? This can be answered in one word: depth. This doesn’t necessarily mean depth as in dimension. It means depth of color. To represent an object as it is, you must paint it from life to learn the intricate layers of color and light upon it.

When painting from a photograph you are working from a limited tool that provides you with a lesser sample than the life object. And working from photography by others is a different subject altogether.

There are, of course, instances when one must paint from a photograph. These are the cases when the sitter or object is not present for whatever circumstance and one must rely on a photograph to advance or complete the work. When this is the case, I prefer working from my own photographs whenever possible as well. This puts me in front of the subject and allows me to observe and take note of as much information as possible.

Cornbread WIP1

Lilibeth André, Cornbread WIP1

I would compare painting from life to learning to drive on the road versus reading the student manual.

Here I present the finished work for Kristina Close Up 2010. A work completed in two three-hour sittings.

I also include Work In Progress 1 for “Cornbread”. This piece is presenting a challenge because of the makeup and clown costume. I have the face of this mature individual in it’s natural color, and the grease paint. And the costume which is a wonderful fabric that absorbs light and appears to be made out of matte and crisp plastic.

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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email info@lilibethandre.com. Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.