Monday, August 1, 2011

Chapter 12 - Head and Face designs

I decided that while I was in the sketching mood and had my pencils and paints out for the sketchbook days I would jump a little in this module and tackle the chapter 12 option. 
The stick figures of chapter 11 seemed very similar to work we did at Urchfont 4 or 5 summer schools ago so thought I'd take the chapt 12 option.

I have no excuses for selecting a few Australians' work in my collection of portrait technniques but I started with Lucian Freud since I loved an exhibition I saw in London last year.

My sketches began to look a little "Spitting Image" but then I love the sculptural look and depth to his portraits and I tried to convey that with only pencil line.


Adam Cullen is Australian, a winner of the Archibald portrait prize, whose portraits are almost 'childlike' in their simplicity.   Marlene Dumas' faces have a ghostly quality about them, concentrating almost only eyes and lips, but these are completely different from the simple faces created by Kathryn del Barton in which the eyes are enlarged and lips doll-like.
John Brack, an Australian from the beginning of the last century, painted elongated angular faces although in not such a distorted fashion as Picasso.


This year's Archibald winner, Ben Quilty, uses heavy thick strokes of oil paint in his distinctive portraits but conveys manages to give expression and personality to his faces with clever use of colour and tone. 


I tried to avoid heavy shading in my pencil version but rather to use pencil shapes to represent the position of tonal areas - my own painting by numbers bank canvas!

I next used a silhouette of my daughter since I thought her ponytail might add some interest.  I cut out several copies in decorative papers that I had prepared in the last module, cut them up and played with various designs.  In most arrangements I simply used a white background as the shapes became confused on the patterned backgrounds I had to hand.



And a couple with a little more colour to them:

 I then looked at using the silhouettes repetitively like pages of a book but wanted to see all the 'pages'.  I made several examples varying the transparency of the paper using eg. tracing paper, tissue, cellophane, but settled on using a laminating machine. 

 I trapped various eyes and mouths in the laminate and sewed heavy lines of stitching as in Picasso and Ponce works of art, and created a 3D piece using several silhouettes.  The photography of this proved difficult of course but you get the idea?



The rest of this chapter will follow in another post.


Max the Lobster said...

i love the silhouette shapes you have achieved and definately the transparent faces, great idea

JaneO said...

Love the 3d transparent faces - these are highly original.