Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hunting Tigers With a Color Pencil

Another week of big changes behind the scenes at Art by Jared...another week where I don't want to talk too much about those changes...But this time I actually have some art to show. Well, really, its just a copy of an old master painting. You see, I have gotten into one of those "reinvent the wheel" moods where I try to reinvent my entire working method as a painter. These moods come and go, and sometimes they produce some amazing breakthroughs for me. When this happens I find it instructive to make copies of artwork that I feel is dealing with similar issues that I want to tackle in my own work. So, this past week I have been working on a color pencil sketch of Peter Paul Rubens The Tiger Hunt.
After Rubens' the Tiger Hunt (c. 1616)
Color Pencil on ink washed paper, 12"x10"

I would like to be able to create just such an energetic and roiling composition while maintaining such precision pertaining to color, composition and theme. Rubens is truly one of the great painters because everything he does has a level of control that works on multiple levels. It was a bit frustrating using color pencil to create this drawing because as a painter I can see where paint would allow me to easily do some of the things that Rubens does instead of the relatively clunky limitations of color pencil. For example, I wasn't using any black, as is my normal method, but it is very difficult to get rich dark tones by combining indigo blue and burnt umber color pencils because either the waxiness of the pencil would clog up the paper, or the hardness of the pencil would dig into (and rip away) the first layer of paper...this would not be an issue in paint.
I feel that this drawing will be a good one to have kicking around the studio for the rest of the summer because it illustrates the need for good composition, and that there are a few tricks that the old masters knew that I could be using more effectively (once I get back to painting monkeys!)

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