Posts Tagged ‘ballerina’

Ballerina Oil Painting Completed

January 30, 2012

Completed Oil of Ballerina

The hour is nearing midnight.  I have a ton of art history to prepare for tomorrow’s classes.  But I cannot avoid posting this completed oil painting from my private student.  Out of respect for her privacy, I have refrained from posting her identity, her school, her city, etc.  And in that way, I feel that I have withheld giving her her due.  But you understand.  What I must say, however, is that I have never in a quarter-century of instruction encountered a ninth grade student with this level of skill and confidence.  I’m thrilled to watch someone pursue the bliss of painting the way she does, and I’m also grateful to see such supportive and proud parents who watch her development with enthusiasm.

My student worked diligently this evening, refining the tutu and reworking the background as she saw necessary.  I thought the painting looked good as it was left Saturday afternoon, but tonight’s finishing touches certainly lifted the entire work to a new level of excellence.

Tomorrow she starts on another adventure, and I look forward to seeing what kind of painting emerges from her brush next.

Thanks for reading.

Degas Redux

January 30, 2012

Ballerina in Oil

Over the weekend, I spent more time watching my private art student paint than engaging in my own work.  I’ll post my own watercolor momentarily, but first wanted to show you this piece.

I am posting the results of the second day spent on this oil painting of a ballerina.  My student spent the first day toning the background and blocking in the body without the tutu.  Today, she continued rendering the shadows and highlights throughout the body, and then scumbled the first layers of the tutu.

As I watched this painting emerge from the gloom, I could visualize Edgar Degas carving out a female form on toned paper, with a stick of pastel in hand.  Indeed this young student seemed just as fast and deft with a brush as I imagined Degas in his studio.  Watching this ballerina come forth from the gathering darkness was quite an enchanting experience for me, and I am sure my student felt the same level of thrill and accomplishment.  What an amazing experience the artist knows, watching life emerge from the abyss, knowing that s/he is the one making it happen.

Again, I must express amazement at this student’s level of concentration and focus on the work at hand.  Viewing a projection of a black-and-white photo of this subject, this young artist chose a sepia background, mixing her own combination of green oxide, cadmium yellow deep, ultramarine blue and burnt umber, with traces of cadmium red medium.  Turning to the figure, she chose to work lavenders into the shadows and yellows into the highlights, again using no “factory” flesh pigments, but blending her own flesh tones from a combination of primary and secondary colors.  This canvas is approximately 14 x 16″ (not in my possession at the moment) and my student has put in about 3 hours on it so far.  She will probably complete it at the next session.

I cannot express my level of pride in her work.  As stated in previous posts, she is currently in the ninth grade, seeking entrance into a magnet school for the visual arts in the fall.  She is about two weeks away from submitting her portfolio of drawings and paintings.  I have had the privilege of working with her only since last October, and am amazed to see what she has produced.  She has so much to offer to the world of visual art, and possesses as much enthusiasm as ability to create.