Monday, May 25, 2009

Libby Caldwell - Less is More

Oil painting over acrylic.

Last week I attended a Sedona Arts Center workshop at the National Academy of Design in New York: 'Power Painting in New York City - Lessons from The Old Masters for Our Time.' The instructor was Morton Kaish, N.A.
For one of the exercises we worked from reproductions of Old Masters' paintings. The one I worked from was 'Juan de Pareja' by Velasquez. In the first image you can see I had just painted the eye; the background was created using acrylic paint. The outline of the head has been indicated in charcoal. Then in the middle image you can see that one eye has been fully developed and the nose and mouth have been painted. I used oil paint for this. Then in the third painting the background has been developed but not finished - using acrylic. The tie around his neck has been indicated. Some of the charcoal lines have been erased. What I am left with is a painting with areas that are highly finished, against areas that are quite abstract and unfinished. As the instructor said 'Less is more'.

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