Friday, September 16, 2011

Mother's Hands

I just finished my first painting assignment of the semester!  Very excited!!

At the very beginning of the semester, we were told to try to work all of our pieces within a central theme.  I decided that I was going to do mine on me.

But our very first assignment was a 12" x 12" square that had to be a reproduction of a segment from a Renaissance Masterpiece.  I was hoping to work on some of my ethnicity, but of all the things that I am, Italian is not one of them.  Before I could say anything though, my instructor opened it up to the Northern Renaissance, and I internally cheered, because I AM part German!

And thus began my search for a 'part' that I liked.  It turns out that there are really only 6 German Renaissance Masters-- and few of them did images of women.  But when I saw Matthias Grünewald's Stuppach Madonna, I knew I'd found my piece.

I even went to the library and got a book on the artist, I found it so interesting.  The first thing we had to do was draw out our selection to scale.

I got a little bit of ribbing from class mates for gridding it out, but ever since I was 10 and first learned that this was how the Egyptians did it for decorating their tombs, I knew it was a viable and reliable method of accurate transfer.

Our first day back in class, we had a lot of fun with these drawings.

We all were taking lining up pictures like this (:

Then it was time to get started on the painting.  We're working in oils.  I haven't used oil paint since I was about 15.  And we had a grand total of 3 colors to work with:  Umber, Blue and Dark Yellow.

I have to admit, at this stage, I was worried that it would ever look like it was supposed to.

But then we got the rest of our colors in.

When working in oil paint, you work from lean (meaning paint mixed with linseed oil/turpentine) to fat (meaning straight paint) so that they dry properly.  If you do it wrong, they crack.

My final, finished piece:

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 page.

I've decided to entitle it, "Mother's Hands"...even though you only see one (;

What I learned from my first oil painting in over 19 years are 1.  Oil painting requires patience.  Once the surface is wet, you have to wait 2 days for it to dry before you can add the next layer.  2.  I like, and turn out to be pretty adept, at glazing (meaning lots of thin layers).  I'm blaming this on my acrylic transformation piece from the last painting class that I had.  3.  There are some seriously talented people in my class (:  I love working with quality artists!  and 4.  I chose the most obscure image of the bunch (lol).

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