Search this Blog
Blog Highlights

Quick links to popular categories:

Materials and Techniques

Class Notes

Step-by-step painting demos

Hudson River Fellowship 2009

Women Painting Women Expedition


Blog Archives
« Seashell's Dream | Main | Mary with Silver Dish »

Oil Sketch of Ward

Oil Sketch of Ward
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas mounted on panel

I had fun with this fast oil sketch. Very different from my usual methods, but satisfying!

Whatever the method or technique, the success of the piece relies on only one thing: Looking. Even though this was a fast sketch (fast for me - done over two sessions) I tried to discipline myself to make each stroke slowly, and look at my subject before making another stroke. 

I did this sketch at my Tuesday evening model share at my studio. The next set of 4 sessions begins August 3rd, I hope you can join us! More information about my classes and model shares sessions here

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (7)

Exelente trabajo, y estupendo espacio, saludos

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoancoch

Sadie, I like the mood this sketch conveys, the way the light falls over the form. Very atmospheric.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace X. Moore

I love how loose a controlled painting can look. That is another key. Make it look easy and spontaneous even when it is anything but easy and spontaneous. Beautiful.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Lynn Adams

I love it! Even though I liked 'Mary with Silver Dish', I definitely prefer the Ward-Painting.
Can you please tell us more about the process? Did you do a charcoal sketch first and then paint over it? What was the goal of the painting and what did you learn?
If you do another sketch like this in the future, I would be great if you could record it and make some sort of instructional video or a wip photo series!

Many thanks for sharing with us!

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Quote: "...each stroke slowly, and look at my subject before making another stroke..." i think i will do the same, this is the way to achive quality. Thank you Sadie for sharing.
Best, Marco.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarco Folchi

Thanks everyone for you comments!

John, I did not do a sketch first, I started with burnt umber to sketch in the shadow shapes. Then I massed in the light side with one basic average of the color of the skin in the light.

Then on top of that I just started adding different dabs of color. Keeping in mind the warmest/reddest and most saturated color happens just before the shadow line/terminator.

Compared to a more academic approach, there is not much "process" at all - you just start mushing paint around. And there are far better "direct painting", "wet paint" painters to learn from than I! Richard Schmid's book Alla Prima is an excellent one, if you are interested in direct, wet painting technique.

Any strength in the painting lies in the drawing - the correct size and placement of the basic shapes. I feel my academic-oriented study of drawing has everything to do with this painting, even though the method/style is completely different.

As for filming, I will probably do more demo videos soon.

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie J. Valeri

Thank you for the information.
I have the Richard Schmid Book and I agree that it's a great source of knowledge.
It's interesting to see that in his book, he talks about different approaches to starting a painting: line and mass block-in, monochrome block-in, transparent monochrome and impressionistic block-in.
Especially when starting with a monochrome block-in on which color is later added can be seen as a method somewhere between alla prima and the more academic method, taking advantage of both worlds.

I totally agree with what you said about placing the correct shapes and it's connection to drawing skills. So it's back to Bargue for me...

Looking forward to the video!


June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.