Relaxed Pose Capstone Figure Painting

Relaxed Post Figure Painting, oil on paper.

When I started this painting, I had some vague notions of treating it sort of like a capstone project. Although I’ve done over 80 paintings now, at the point in time when I painted this one, I had done somewhere in the mid-40s. I really felt like I was starting to get into the groove of things, and was seeing tangible improvement in technique, color selection, and just generally making human beings actually look human. That’s a fair amount of painting in four months, almost like a painting boot camp in some ways. Through all of that, I learned quite a bit by forcing myself to practice specific areas of weakness. Things like freehand outlines without measurement, figure poses, using different brush types, and color blending and application of discrete color zones or areas.

At the time, I started thinking that if I really had improved at these things, maybe I should try to put some of the lessons together. Could I put my best foot forward and sort of “show what I know?” As it turns out, the answer is…”sort of.” Overall, I would give myself mixed reviews on this effort. Although it’s not a bad painting, I would certainly not describe it as one that resulted in a “best effort” type of painting, or one that I could say I’m particularly proud of. I do have quite a handful of paintings that I’m sentimental about, and that I value. Sadly, this capstone effort did not turn out to be one of them.

I try to finish most paintings in 2-3 hours, but I wanted to give myself some space to attempt to culminate all of these lessons and learning experiences into a unified, good effort. So, decided not to rush and gave myself an unusually large amount of time, somewhere between 4-5 hours, which is still one of my longest paintings. The only one I can think of that took longer was a multi-character larger pieces that I did. As I mentioned, the end result is okay. There are specific things I am doing better than even a month ago, but there is definitely a lot of room for further improvement and growth. In particular, shadows and areas where dark and light areas meet gave me lots of trouble. And there are areas I see that I’m still having issues with, such as clothing and hands. So, from the perspective of treating it like a capstone project, I would say it was a bit of a letdown. Even so, it’s certainly not the worst painting I’ve ever done!

In addition to all the above, I’ll also share a time lapse set to classical music – the featured piece this time is Mozart’s Alla Turca Piano Sonata No. 11. Here’s the video:

Blick Art Materials

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