Monday, November 21, 2011

After Ingres

Diane Mannion, AFTER INGRES, 8x6" oil
      My tribute to Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1775-1867).  Old Masters learned by making copies of older master's works.  A hundred years ago when I was an art student (still and always a student)... my teachers had me study Ingres's work.  This was a class project for my students to create a painting out of Ingres's drawing, "Portrait of Victor Baltard's Wife and daughter, Paule."  
      While researching Ingres, I discovered this great quotation: "Drawing contains three quarter and a half of what constitues painting"...Ingres.  Ingres considered drawing to be superior to painting.  His favorite medium was pencil on paper.  He wouldn't have approved of my little painting because he didn't like to see any brushstokes showing.  He believed a painting was a window into reality and thought evidence of the artist's work was a distraction.  But I don't agree with him... I love to see brush work, to me it's part of what makes a painting.  
      Below is the first stage of this painting which I "drew" with a brush using burnt umber.  A demonstration to my students that painting IS drawing... with a brush instead of pencil:
 Diane Mannion, AFTER INGRES, sketch, 8x6"oil
      This is how the painting looked during my class demo, difficult to talk and paint at the same time.  I suffer from "exploding head syndrome" and realized later that more hair was needed, which would have the top of the hairdo right on the top margin... a "kissing" problem!  Had to give poor woman more hair in order to "bleed" off the top for better composition.  So there!   Two new artistic terms in one blog post.  Exploding head syndrome and kissing.   Now you know.  And the red stroke, bottom left (actually magenta) was an explanation to my students that the drawing on canvas can be done in any color.
      If you would like to see a copy of Ingre's drawing, please do a Google image search, it's easy to find.  (Did not want to get involved with copyright rules to show it here.)

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