Tuesday, July 15, 2008

a daily dose

of monsoon rains have washed away any opportunities to work on the portrait of Mercia (Sadalsuud) for the time being, so it was time to look beyond the clouds and take on another constellation. I was in need of consistent lighting and a model who had a similar schedule as mine, and equally important, a similar taste in music. The one I decided to go with for the painting is a bit of a prima donna (quite the whiner, actually.. and he could use a haircut), but I think everything will work out.

The composition is based on the constellation of Ophiuchus (the serpent-holder). The first drawing/set up - much simpler, and certainly more serious (I've taken a lot of heat for looking too serious/intense in my previous self portrait attempts, which doesn't particularly harmonize with my personality) - had me dressed in black, holding the hose of a nargila. I completed the study, the drawing, and even started in on the painting, but was completely uninspired by it (so much so, that I wasn't planning on posting it here). So, I ditched it.

I played around with the setup and changed my mindset about the project to that of a more lighthearted attitude (I needed a counterweight to balance out the prospect of sitting in a small dark room for hours on end) - I still tried to maintain somewhat of an edge. Hopefully, that will come through in the painting (it's hard to feel it in the charcoal sketch); I am determined to achieve that presence. As for the the space, I have kept both the hookah and the original poster study to fuse it with the initial idea.

This afternoon, I plan on jumping in to the color wash (underpainting). After I make a little progress (and assuming that my model will cooperate), I will be back here with more. Late.


Blogger Krista said...

This is really a fantastic piece of work, even though it is still a charcoal sketch. your expression is just perfect. Can't wait to see this evolve!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Love the composition on this one and the expression as well.
One thing... try to avoid any tangent points in the final painting. They tend to shift unwanted focus.
Like the underside of the canvas and your arm, the contour of your right arm lining up with that line in the middle of your seat, Your hair on the right side with that curved form behind it, etc

I look forward to see more.
Excellent work Toby

3:35 PM  
Blogger m tobias hall said...

thanks guys

certainly good advice regarding the tangents - i'll do my best to offset those as i go along.

look forward to seeing you in new york!

10:47 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I'm following the progress through flickr. Just underpainting stage at this point but I can feel this is gonna turn out to be a killer painting!

5:35 AM  
Blogger m tobias hall said...

thanks tom - i hope so!

9:12 AM  
Blogger 22 said...


5:37 AM  
Blogger 花生豆花Star said...


12:46 AM  

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