Friday, April 29, 2011

Torso in Shadow and Light

The last few days I've been working on a new piece.  I realize I haven't posted much of my work on this blog lately - I've been as busy as ever painting, but they've been commissions, and it's not my place to post them publicly the way I can with other work.  But now today I have a new piece which I think is finished!

"Torso in Shadow and Light" is from a series of photos I took of a professional model I've been working with lately.  She's creating a graphic novel and needed pictures of her body for it, and I love photographing her so it's worked out well for both of us. 

On this particular day, the spring sun was streaming into my studio through my southern windows.  The architect designed the studio so the sun could come in through the windows until the equinox, thus giving me some solar gain during the cold months and protecting me from too much heat in the summer.  There was a rectangle of sun striking the floor, spreading out about 3 feet.  My model moved into it, and things got electric.  I glanced at one of the photos I took and realized we'd struck gold!  The sun traced some of the subtle curves on her body and delineated others strongly where sun and shadow met. 

I took about 20 pictures in this set up, but this is the only one I've had a chance to paint yet.  It was a difficult painting to create because her torso is so smooth and flat, and the modulations so subtle.  It's also quite abstract, so I had to keep her anatomy in mind as I worked to make sure I was describing the form correctly. 

I'm going to leave it on the easel for a few days to see if it's actually finished, but it's feeling good for now!

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