I've added a new feature to The Night Shift called Misplaced Modifiers. I see a lot of unexpected things when I walk through my East Village neighborhood each morning, like this tableau: The boot, the bottle cap and the bouquet. I've recently added about 40 photos and have many more to share. You can access the page by clicking the link just to the right of the "Home" tab at the top of this page, beneath the title. Note: Updates to Misplaced Modifiers don't generate an email if you subscribe to the blog. I will announce additions periodically on Facebook and Twitter!
This figure drove me nuts. A simple young woman, holding a huge Louis Vuitton shopping bag, pretty straightforward. But I just couldn't get it right. Here's how it went down...........
Feeling pretty good at this point. In fact, wondering if I wasn't almost done -- I liked the loose, painterly textures.
But then I got hung up on the face. These blocks are so very small, and trying to get too much detail in the tiny faces frustrates me, I keep trying to simplify and not get too caught up in the details.
She was getting a bit messy:
And her leopard print leggings were not happening. Ugh. I kept painting them and then wiping them away:
So I went back to her face - not too bad:
But I still couldn't get those legs right. I put the painting down for a while, a week or so and then came back to it. It was all very dry (not enough linseed oil) and she looked rather vacant, in addition to her troublesome legs:
So I returned to it later and made some changes. I opted to give her a pair of jeans rather than leggings and altered her face and head, to better effect I think:
I've been meaning to document these small portraits from start to finish but routinely get so carried away in the process, I forget to stop and take some photos. I caught myself during this most recent painting and remembered to at least take a few pics with my phone as I started.
Step 1: Pencil grid on the surface to help maintain the proportions of my reference snapshot and then some quick sketching with pencil and a thin wash of paint. This probably looks like a big sloppy mess, rather than any subway riders you may have seen:
I've gotten quite good, by the way, at taking surreptitious photos with my phone on the train. Folks rarely have a clue that I'm snapping away...
Ok -- I wish I'd thought to take another photo before I got to this stage but I got here so quickly, I didn't have a chance! Then I stopped to let things dry a bit and consider my next move:
I was very pleased with the woman on the right but wanted to give more form and detail to her hands and lap and also to the woman on the left. But I didn't want to get over wrought in detail:
I opted to use a nice celadon-green in the background which set off quite nicely agains the rust-colored hair of the woman on the right. It also gave the scene a whole different feel than the cool gray I had in place at first. So that's it, I decided to stop right there, keeping this fresh and loose: