Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hand Drill, Work in Progress


This is something new for me, posting an unfinished painting. Because I have been working on this one for quite a while, posts to the blog have slowed down. Also, getting my website redesigned and launched accounts for some of the delay, I am so glad that project is done! But I want you to know I am still painting, and this is what I am working on.

This still has the appearance of the monochrome underpainting. I have started to add a bit of color in the red and green parts of the drill. I love its subtle rusts, patinas, and worn paint, and these muted colors will be an important part of the finished piece. As you can see, I also enjoy working with drapery.


This is not the first painting I have made of a complex tool, but it is the largest one so far. I plan to do more, and have a wonderful line-up of models just waiting for me to get to them. They all look treasured and well used. For me they carry a direct connection to the hands that held them, the care that went into their use, the value of the work they accomplished. The drapery feels right, paying homage to their democratic, honest power.


I hope to have this one finished shortly. There is a lot of work left to do on the lower drapery, in the shadows, and the gear wheel is a wonderful green, got to get that just right. The handle for turning the gear needs work, and all those gear teeth, have to adjust them until everything reads correctly. Not quite in the home stretch yet on this one.
I will post the finished painting.

I wonder if you will find it interesting to see a painting in progress? Please let me know. If this is a success with readers, more "in progress" posts will appear.

13 comments:

Kristin Summerlin said...

I am fascinated by works in progress, especially as I am not a painter. I wish I could learn to see as you do. We share a love of old tools. I do feel that something well-used (and perhaps well-loved) carries a bit of the user's spirit with it. Love the subject of this painting!

Carol Lambert said...

Hi Kristin, Thanks for the feedback! I find that people who work with their hands relate immediately to the paintings of tools. You are clearly in that category.I value your opinion.

Honor Martinez said...

What a beautiful work in progress. Do you do the underpainting in acrylic then glaze with oil color? I, too, am fascinated by how people approach a painting. I am relatively new at painting and haven't quite settled into a style that speaks to me. I am learning patience. Honor

Karen said...

Yes absolutely post your in-progress!! It's really fascinating, and instructive. It give insight to your own way of working, and then when I, for example, see it, I say Aha! I must try that! And, it reminds me to start larger ones that take longer than one sitting.

I LOVE the drapery here...I am currently in a drapery struggle period.

Can't wait to see further progress here.


p.s. will email you...

Carol Lambert said...

Honor, thanks for your comment! Yes, patience and persistence will win the day. I am too proud to even tell you how long this painting has been in progress! I don't use acrylics, this is on oil primed canvas, with an oil underpainting. My way to keep things simple. So I paint with a window open and the fan pulling air out of the room, even though this is Alaska! Had to work on other things when the temp went to -20 in January!

Carol Lambert said...

Hi Karen,
I certainly have enjoyed seeing your work evolve! And I would love to see what you do with a bigger format. The drapery struggle, yes. Tips I have received from others: keep to angles, fewer curvy lines, and just paint the shapes, it will look like drapery in the end. That, and remembering the reflected light in shadow areas, are what I keep in mind.

Carol Lambert said...

PS to everyone,
Here is a link to the painting that inspired me to try this drapery. It is not a great photograph of the piece, which is very small and utterly a jewel, but it does show the drapery. I visit it whenever I am in San Francisco (about once a year.) Gebriel Metsu. Now, that's drapery.
http://tinyurl.com/bsr4wm

Carol Lambert said...

Let's try that again.Hope this link works. If not, guess you will need to copy and paste to browser, and please forgive my errors!

Gabriel Metsu

Karen said...

Thanks for the link. That painting is amazing!!

(thanks also for the valuable insights on your drapery painting)

Jala Pfaff said...

This is marvelous, and I enjoy seeing someting in-progress. How many layers do you usually do, in total?

Carol Lambert said...

Thanks, Jala! On a formal painting (as opposed to plein air or a less formal small work) I will do at least 4 layers. 1) underpainting in monochrome 2) laying in color in masses of light and dark 3) refine values and colors, correct drawing and edges 4) apply accents, adjust values, sharpen point of interest 5+) glazing, final adjustments. I see you have some similar background, you are probably familiar with all this. One of my missions is to help people understand the process that goes into classical works, so this is a great question. It's one I ask when I look at that Metsu.

merci33 said...

this is a magnificent underpainting, able to stand on its own as a complete study...your intimacy with the 'model' is, for me, just as luscious as the work itself.
Jim Dine's tool series is splashy and loose and bold and naturally comes to mind...but your 'old master' eye and the inclusion of the drapery makes this one sexy odalisque.

Carol Lambert said...

Merci, many thanks! I am so encouraged by everyone's comments! I have been taking photos of the bottom half as I work, so will post a few of those with the finished piece, soon, I hope. Yikes,it has been almost a month since this post! (Everything done now except final corrections on the gear teeth.)