Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Demure figure... from photo reference

The whole issue of what type of figure to paint is fun to consider. I recently discovered an artist named Neil Boyle. Apparently, during his painting/teaching/illustration career he painted lots of frontier dance-hall tarts. Tawdry pretty women seem to touch a chord with people for whatever reason. One evening I found some youTube videos of Boyle addressing an audience of fellow (commercial) illustrators. He did a demonstration of one of his "soiled doves" (a lady of the night). The sound is not good, but I watched all 8 segments of the session--(staying up well past midnight) ....mostly because Boyle reminded me how comedic illustrators are. (I worked with illustrators during the 80's/90's). You can count on the illustrators to keep you laughing all day. I never met one who doesn't have a very wry wit. I was captivated during Boyle's demonstration..he kept up the banter without losing a bit of concentration. People who think illustrators aren't "real" artists are daft! Boyle painted a lot from photo references, but he also painted from life on a consistent basis so that he understood how light really affected what he was using as reference. Here is a link to Boyle's demonstration. (You probably won't watch all the segments like I did...I really enjoyed all the "inside" jokes). Neil Boyle, YouTube Sadly, I have learned that Boyle has passed away..but fortunately there are a number of instructional dvds by him.
As for my painting above...this is another of those paintings that I might sand down after it dries in order to use it for an guide to paint it again--(the next time with improved flesh tones). I'm happy with most of it..but I think it might benefit from a 2nd pass.
Oil on 9x12 canvas panel

7 comments:

Mariano Zucchi said...

Hi Celeste,
it seems very expressive to me ! Thank you very much for the insight!

Sheila said...

Thanks for letting me know about Neil! I'm going to have to watch all 7 segments now.

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Celeste!....I share your respect for Neil Boyle's sensitive treatment ... of insensitive subjects! Proves that beauty lies indeed...in the "eye" of the beholder. But in NB's case...beauty "seen" first...recognized...and presented/passed humourously...yet artistically to an audience that might not otherwise appreciate it. A modern Vincent perhaps! Like your site. Neil would enjoy your comments and your "Demure Damsel". Don't sand away too much of her "makeup". Looks good to "Me"! Cheers!
Bruce Sherman
PS I'm a Follower! Thanks for visiting my site!

Ann Buckner said...

I love the direction your painting is going. The demureness yet quite mysterious. Hope you give it a second pass as I would enjoy seeing the direction you took.

Caio Fernandes said...

i did loved all the shadows and yellows of it !!! and the blues made get even more special !!!

her head position .... what a expression !!

Kerri Settle said...

Thanks for the information on Neil Boyle. As a landscape artist, which is thankfully a forgiving subject in terms of proportions, I'm always amazed at the expressiveness other artists can evoke with the human figure.

Kitty Wallis said...

I like to hear the brave statement: 'This is another of those paintings that I might sand down after it dries in order to use it for an guide to paint it again--(the next time with improved flesh tones). I'm happy with most of it..but I think it might benefit from a 2nd pass.'

So many artists imagine they can't afford to take the chance of letting a good line or passage go. Is it fear of having to get the focus back that produced the first good work? That might be the downside, but the upside is so worth it.