Thursday, May 21, 2009

Preliminary drawings for "FALL"

(Perliminary drawing for "Fall", pencil on strathmore paper, 20 x 30 inches)

I have grappled with the challenge of adding figures to my work for years, and only recently have I begun to do figurative work that I'm satisfied with at the level of my landscapes. The more I keep working at it, the more I admire artists that do it well... Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth are just a couple of examples. Then add to the list Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth, and more. And as I have begun to overcome some challenges of mine with the figure set in a landscape or interior, I have found that one of the most important foundations is in my drawing.

(Snake and leaves detail, from drawing for "Fall") So rather than jumping right onto canvas, I now do fairly resolved pencil drawings seperately on paper first. I have done preliminary sketches of heads, hands, and figures in my sketchbook. Then I move on to a large sheet of paper where all of my mistakes are made, erased, and fixed, until the drawing is to my satisfaction (these are the drawings you see posted here). Then I enlarge that drawing onto canvas. This way I don't have to fight the drawing so much when I approach the painting... I can focus more on color, brushwork, and painting technique. But I still make subtle changes and corrections with the drawing on the canvas as I go.

N.C. Wyeth, in his confidence, didn't seem to have much need for resolved preliminary drawings on paper. However, Rockwell executed one for nearly every painting he did, and they were nearly full-scale to the paintings. Artists have varying methods... to each his own. They're both awesome.

("Brandi" pencil drawing on strathmore paper, 14 x 28 inches.)

My finished painting of "Fall" will be a large 36 x 54 inches, oil on canvas (work in progress). It's one of the more complex and detailed paintings I've ever attempted... it includes two full figures, a big bush with more leaves than I'd ever want to count, the ground is covered with grass and leaves, and a neighborhood full of houses in the background. I'll talk more about some of the underlying meaning of the piece when I post the finished painting... but don't hold your breath, this piece will take me a while to finish!

11 comments:

L.Holm said...

Beautiful drawings, Tony. I share your admiration for Hopper, NC Wyeth, Rockwell, et al. Will 'Fall' be the same size or larger?

tonypetersart said...

My painting of "Fall", when it's finished, will be pretty big... 36 x 54 inches. Soooo many leaves to paint.

L.Holm said...

Zowie!!

jeremie lederman said...

oh, you 'soooo many leaf painters."

I'm looking forwards to seeing where this thoroughness and study will take you.

Thanks for posting the process as well. sometimes that's even more interesting then the final...

Eric Merrell said...

Hey Tony, what's your schedule like this week or next? Involved in this new undertaking of yours, no doubt. If you're up for an outside jaunt and I can tear myself away from frames, I'd love to paint some of the coast, etc. in the area.

tonypetersart said...

Hey Jeremie,

It's nice to keep a long term project around the studio to pick away at. A big personal challenge.

tonypetersart said...

Eric,

Shoot me a direct email... tonypetersart@sbcglobal.net

Let's set it up!

Marian Fortunati said...

Really amazing, Tony!!

Andrew said...

Really great work..

Thank you very much...

___________________
Andrew
#1 Satellite Television Service Provider

tonypetersart said...

Thanks Marian!

Andy Dickson said...

I really like this drawing, it has a lot of clarity and an intriguing subject. I have been considering developing some sustained drawings like this in preparation for a series of paintings of my children in interior spaces. Seeing your work provides a little encouragement for moving in this direction.