I went to class Monday night even though I did not feel like painting; I have had a sinus headache for two weeks, and sometimes I am just drained by it. But I went; and I managed to do a drawing, a value study and covered a canvas with paint. I tried to stick to three values in the study, which I came close to doing. The painting I wiped off, but it looks better to me in this state than it did at the end of class, so just for fun, I put it here for anyone interested in what a partially wiped off painting looks like. Notice how the models head has changed positions over the course of the evening. Also notice that I did not stick to my original intent on the color version, getting more of the model on the canvas than either my drawing, which more closely resembles the value study, or the study showed here.
Classes were cancelled tonight at the Art Student's League of Denver, which is just as well as we had a major snow storm today and Mark is in Scottsdale teaching a workshop. I picked up a book that I read from time to time, called The Art Spirit. It is the writings and teachings of Robert Henri, a wonderful American portrait painter (see painting above) who was born about the time of the civil war. His words echo Mark's, which I suppose is not that surprising all in all. Like "the juxtaposition of warm and cool colors of the same value creates vibration and the sensation of light. This principle holds true whether of not the subject is outdoors or in the light of the studio." And "one also learns that getting the correct values can be more important than the color itself."
Here is a great quote on painting the model in the studio relative to the background "A weak background is a deadly thing" and "Every head claims its own kind of background." Here is one that applies to me " Many a background has been spoiled simply because the artist has tried to cover it with insufficient amount of paint; because it was a trouble to paint it all over...because he thought too little of it and did not realize the function it had to perform." Oh my.