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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

At the Wheel Before and After

At the Wheel, 12x16, oil on linen
Here is a painting I did from a slide taken in December 1977! Oh my. My sister is driving my father's VW bug and we are on or way to Erfurt in West Germany. We lived in Zweibruecken at the time.  It is a cold winters day and it looks cold inside the bug as well. I painted the top painting in 2004 in an afternoon and I remember being very proud of myself. This painting was last hanging in my daughter's apartment but when she moved she decided to give it back in exchange for something new. Hey, with a mother as an artist, she can pretty much have revolving art! Well once I got it back in my hot little hands I knew I had to do something about it and it was the perfect project to work on during the holidays when there is so much else going on. As usual, the drawing itself and the proportions were okay. Value relationships and color left a lot to be desired! The first thing I decided to do was to block in the big dark shape and unify them. In other words, I made the upper rim of the door tie into her hat, her hair and her coat and then wrapped it around the molding and steering wheel. I knew that the liner was too light and had to be darker than the snow outside the window. So I lightened the snow outside and darkened the headliner-still not convinced it can't go darker...The red of the metal came next and it obviously was too warm and too light and not enough reflected light on it. Then I went back and cooled down her face which was totally off color. How could she be warm toned in all that cold?? I used some of the color from the snow to make the transition from the light hitting her face to the color of her skin..and got rid of the harsh outline. Her cheek looks natural now. I did very little to her hair from the mass blockin, just very subtle color and value shifts, and tied it into her scarf and hat. The hat I just put in some light to give it form and otherwise left it a solid color. I played a little with the repeating pattern between her scarf and her hat brim. It reads So Much better now.

I still have that hat and get compliments when I wear it. She and I loved to wear our fedora's back then.

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