Sunday, March 1, 2009

Virgin Annunciate

It's been a long time between posts, but I have not been idle.  Between finishing the print for an exchange and taking a painting class, there has been little time for anything else.  The painting class was "Techniques of the Masters" taught by Mike Southern at the Kenton Studios in Portland.  The artists covered were the Flemish Masters, Titian and Rubens.   We were each to do an egg tempera based copy of a Flemish Master on a small piece of panel prepared with the traditional gesso and a Titian work on canvas.  I chose the Virgin Annunciate, an early Titian. It was a real personal challenge to stay focused on copying someone else's work – I kept wanting to take off on my own, especially when it came to the drapery, which has always been a challenge.  I think I managed to stay half faithful in end, but a forger I will never be.  Now the challenge will be to somehow make this woman mine.  She is currently residing in the studio where I can look at her every day until I come up with the solution.
Many years ago I would make a value study drawing in graphite and then water color over it. What a surprise to find out I was doing a Titian technique (of sorts - his were in oil) called grisaille, which is simply a painting done in shades of gray from black to white.  The under painting, which was first done in burnt umber, then in grisaille, and then many glazes of transparent oil pigments.  I gotta tell you, Titian worked a whole lot faster then I did.  It took me a month of classes, and sessions between, to finish this little 16 x 20 inch canvas.  But then, I didn't have a cadre of apprentices, either which makes for a handy excuse for being so slow!  (I don't have a wife, either.)
As to the final solution, I have some things in mind, and when they are in place you will see an altered image.  
But, next I will post the woodcut for the exchange.

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