Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lovell, Photos, and Maquettes

Lovell used photo reference when he had to, as with this photo of a member of the 173rd Army Airborne Brigade in Vietnam, for his painting “The Chaplain in Southeast Asia.”

The connection between the photo reference and the painting was made by blog reader Gene Snyder, who noticed the resemblance while photographing over 9,000 art images in the Army's art collection over the course of several years.

But Lovell also used other, more traditional means of getting figure and animal reference. He preferred to work from drawings made from posed models in the old master tradition. He also frequently did mirror studies, posing himself in a mirror to take the action of the pose.

Lovell also made maquettes of animals and ships, which can be difficult to visualize otherwise.
The study of the clay model was made in charcoal and pastel 11x14 on Kraft paper.

The painting is called Camels in Texas, 1971, commissioned by the Petroleum Museum in Midlands Texas.
Thanks, Joe and Gene S.
Previous Post: Lovell's Soldier (where he uses mirror drawings)


Shane White said...

His colors have a subtlety to them that I can't quite piece together.

They're not terribly contrasty, relying much on color temperature and more mid-value control.

The water on that dry rock reads so freakin', I'm just floored.


sirfrancisdrake said...

that vietnam painting is awesome, but is it just me or does the rotor on the closest helicopter look out of perspective?

J. R. Stremikis said...

@sirfrancisdrake - it's not just you - given the realism and detail in the rest of the painting, the two nearest helicopters are strange indeed. their rotors are out of alignment with the bodies, and the full rotor patterns seem out of place. these rotor patterns wouldn't appear in reference photos (the helicopters have a single blade, which would show up in in-flight photos as a single bar, blurring more towards the outer edges.) this pattern wouldn't show up in real life, either. so, it's certainly puzzling. everything else is done so well.

James Gurney said...

Drake and Retriever: Very observant of you, and you're exactly right. I actually saw the photo reference Lovell used for the helicopters. He followed the shape of the fuselage pretty closely. But the photo showed the two blades mostly frozen in the sky. Lovell decided for whatever reason to show them spinning around the whole circle, and it really does look odd.

J. R. Stremikis said...

Jim, many thanks for the return comments.
yes, the rotor blade patterns are odd, but odder
still are the symmetry or center of gravity for each
of the copters. the axes of 'copter body to rotor
pattern is way off on all 4.
these would never fly - and, the strut (landing
gear) on the middle body - the orientation is
askew, off "kilter" - so would have problems in
do you know for a fact that Lovell did these
details ? I would easily believe they were added
by someone else.