Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Max Ginsburg, caught painting

When I'm painting with a group, I often like to turn and paint my friends. I was sitting next to Max Ginsburg (b. 1931), so I painted him.

I used five colors of casein: cobalt blue, Venetian red, golden ochre, raw umber, and titanium white.

I did the block-in with a half-inch flat brush, and then worked the details with a small round synthetic sable. I was setting up the whole thing for the warm reflected light that bounced up from his painting.


Most of the artists in the group last night studied under Max (whose painting is on the second step up on the right): Me, Kevin Ferrara, Jeanette Gurney, Richard ScarpaDaisy De PuthodMax GinsburgMark TexeiraRicky MujicaGarin Baker, and John Varriano
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Edit: Wade asked what kind of pad I was using, and it was a Moleskine watercolor notebook.

In answer to Dustin's question, here's a progress shot during the block-in. It was the end of the evening, so I only had 20 minutes to do the whole portrait of Max. The block-in was the general tone of each area, painted semi-transparently, and I went in and modified the rendering of each area quickly on the second pass.

17 comments:

Wade Clark said...

What kind of Pad are you painting on? Brand type? etc...

James Gurney said...

Wade, I was using a Moleskine watercolor notebook. I'll add a link at the end of the post.

chae said...

Hi

Thank you for the interesting post.

Attending a similar group myself ,
There are a few things I'd like to ask about the group. How often does the group meet and study together, how long do you get to study from a pose how long are the sessions, etc.

Thank you.

James Gurney said...

We were working three hours on a single seated pose. I think the final of a series of three sittings, but I only joined in at the end. The group isn't perfectly regular, but we all meet in one form or another once a week or so, either to paint from the model, to paint landscapes together, or to see museum shows in New York.

Tom Hart said...

With a group of such high calibre, what sort of feedback to you give each other about the work done at such a session? Do you engage in or avoid critique and/or suggestions?

James Gurney said...

Tom, it's hard to say. We all learn from each other, and I guess that means asking questions like what brushes are you using or what's your priming color? I was really impressed with what everyone else did, so I was just "Oohing-and Aahing."

Rich said...

I'd like to choose one favorite and buy one.
They are but short lived Ohh Ahh-attempts.
Still:
Are they for sale?

James Gurney said...

Rich, if you'd like to send me your email, I can send a note out to the group saying you're interested in learning more about availability.

Carole Pivarnik said...

Neat post, lovely sketch. I learn so much just from looking at how you sketch. I am in a group that meets weekly and it is such a valuable experience for me. Highly recommended practice and neat to see that even artists of your calibre get a lot out of group interaction.

Wade Clark said...

Thanks James :)

Erik Bongers said...

Love the reflected lighting of the face!

Malleus said...

Interesting that the photo shows Max's hat looking olive drab in color and your work showing more like khaki. Is that a photographic effect, or did you make your own color choices?

James Gurney said...

Malleus, I had a very limited palette, so I couldn't always match color for color. Also it was a little hard to evaluate colors because the studio was lit with very poor "warm white" fluorescents. In that situation, I try to focus more on value and simple warm/cool color relationships.

Dustin Chapman said...

This is one of my favorites of yours James. Is it possible in future sketches that you take a few more in progress pictures to give me more of an idea of your techniques? I find it troublesome sometimes when I do blocking and I may spend too much time doing that initial step. So much that it is discouraging. Also when you block do you tend to block in similar color to what you are blocking?
Thanks. Dustin

James Gurney said...

Dustin, I added a photo to the post and explained a bit more about the block-in. I'll try to film the whole process in real time sometime.

Tom Hart said...

Thanks for adding that block in, James. It's really cool to see the transformation of the hand, which came out great.

Dustin Chapman said...

Yes thanks for that additional photo. It helps a lot to see progression. Hard to believe you only had 20 minutes. Looks fantastic for such time constraints.