Friday, September 11, 2009


Today was a day to work at my desk, working on plans for a new critique group I am going to lead once a month. The first session starts next week. I am excited about the potential for growth for all the participants, including myself! What ever I teach, I put myself through the same process, in preparation. It helps me by building in some discipline and structure when I am only accountable to myself. Somehow we let ourselves down when we would never break our word to a friend or even a stranger.

That's why making a public commitment on the internet is so powerful. We will embarrass ourselves if we don't follow through with a project we want to do. Otherwise, it becomes like a New Year's Day resolution. You know what happens to those!

Okay, day two and I am still on track with my public commitment to work on silhouettes of action figures. Two days isn't so impressive, but every day I stay on target, I will get better and better at the task. I changed colors as I use up the paint in my old palette. I like the blue ink contour line on top. I am using a #10 Kolinsky sable brush with an excellent tip and I stand as I paint. By standing, my arm has more movement and I can manipulate the brush better. That semester of Chinese Brush Painting in college helped me gain control of my arm and hand without having to brace it against something. I personally find the process of painting more enjoyable if I am standing. More physical, like a dance, and less tedious. If you want to loosen up, try standing up!


Mike said...

Hi Myrna . . .You might also try doing the same figure work with a one inch flat. You'd be amazed at the change in character of the shapes. Simple blotches of paint can become very animated figures. Try it. It's fun!

carol said...

I love the silhouettes!! Where to you get the images for them?

Jeff said...

Just a reminder about the website that you found last year. ENDLESS amounts of figures to draw!

Jeff said...

Just a reminder about the website you found last year. ENDLESS figures to draw!

Lena said...

I like the challenge and will do my best to follow suite.
I have started today with the figures, timidly looking at a chart I have, regarding proportions.

Thanks for the reminder for the, Jeff.

Ginny Stiles said...

Good job'll see that I am also following this challenge (see my blog for yesterday) and you'll see that my figures are pretty static to start with! Yikes. I will try standing up. Are you painting on a tilt board? On an easel? Or flat on the table? In any case I too like to stand up but forget to do it sometimes. Thanks for the reminder and also Mile's remind to try a flat brush...I like flats!!! And the reminder about the good advice. My challenge is to paint 5 figures EVERY time I am in the studio. This is not quite as threatening to me as EVERY DAY or so many per week or anything. Still, I did work in there today and my figures haven't happened yet. Back I go!!!

Myrna said...

The Gap ad was in some publication a few years ago. They also had one with great portraits of famous people that I saved. I keep a clip file of things I like. These figures are jumping and twisting and doing things my body gave up on years ago. The sports section of the news paper has great action shots you can use.

You will be surprised to learn that one of my favorite spots to paint (and where I have been doing these figures) is on my kitchen counter next to the sink on the right and the TV on the left! I find I work better if part of my brain is engaged elsewhere. I usually listen to books on tape in my studio where I have a disc player. I usually have the paper flat or slightly raised by putting something behind the board. I painted my 9-patch self portrait painting standing at the counter next to the sink. A fancy studio is a luxury but definitely not a necessity.

Now to find my 1" flat!

Lena said...

Very nice piece. The texture created from the papers in the background works so well with the "tribal" feeling of the lady's origin/history and jewellery.

What papers did you use for the collage?

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