Sunday, May 18, 2008

A New Study, An Old Problem

Here is a figure study after an old illustration by Joseph Leyendecker. The original has a rather shabby-looking painter frying a sausage while holding his empty palette. I changed him to imply that the viewer is the subject of a painting (the old master is looking at his subject--us). This is 16x12 on panel. Great fun to do because of the wonderful example provided by Leyendecker.

The old problem referred to in the title of this post is simplification and vigorous brushwork. My own prejudice is to use one brushmark for two or three. That is, I want to avoid overworking my paintings and to provide the viewer with something to do--some active involvement--when looking at my work. Leyendecker is a great example. His work is well-designed, economical in execution, and often stunningly real. I've been trying hard to correct this old, overworking problem of mine.
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