Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Triptych - Fatty Wants to Dance

Okay, okay.. now before anyone goes off on the title, be assured, it's just a little tongue-in-cheek song reference to the Hawksley Workman song of the same name.  I originally intended to title this 'Dancing with Myself' in keeping with my love of stealing song titles for artwork, but considering the subject matter, which is a kind of pseudo-self-portrait (preliminary sketches, included below, were much more obviously self-reverential, where the final product ended up being more generic) and I am, realistically and in terms of neutral descriptors, a fat woman, and I didn't want to shy away from that fact.

My aim with this set was two fold:

1) Get some practice in drawing bodies, especially bodies in motion

2) Present a portrait of a subject that is feeling comfortable in her body, and experiencing joy at its movement.

The personal is political, as they say.  So this piece is pretty near and dear to me, and I had a lot of fun creating it.

Here is the complete set:

Set of 3 - 6x12 inch canvas
My favorite panel by far is the middle panel, with the yellow background:

In my humble opinion, the composition here is really good. I'm happy with the way the subject fills the frame.  I love the facial expression, it's kind of blissful.  The left knee turned out rather well.

My only complaints on this one are that the right hand is disproportionately small (but man, I was SOOO dang happy with the left hand - the one raised up in the air), and the left leg seems slightly out of joint.  But overall, my fave.

On the other end of the spectrum, I could be happier with the first panel:

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things I like here.. subject's boobs turned out well, as did the legs.  The belly ain't bad either.  But the hands are weird and the composition is really off.. The subject is floating, when compared to the other two panels.  There's some minor proportion problems here and there.  I don't think it's by any means terrible, but just some room for improvement.  Also, the colored grounds I created by mixing Gesso with some acrylic paint, and I think the shade of blue I used (cobalt blue hue, if I recall) had too much transparency.  It doesn't have the same boldness as the yellow and pink.

Oh, and out of curiosity, this panel is supposed to be some iteration of 'the twist'.

Lastly, the 'back' panel:

Better composition this time, even if one foot is cut off. Trying to do a back like mine, without actually being able to see it, was challenging, to say the least.  This time, I'll just cover the few things I could improve (hair looks kind of stiff, and hands look weird and small.. I was going for depth of field, but didn't quite get it.. the visible foot is disproportionately small, but after trying to fix that foot about FIFTY THOUSAND TIMES, untill I got it to where it didn't look like her ankle was broken, I decided I'd take it.)


I'm still unreasonably excited about how the back of the thighs turned out, and the little bit of visible butt-cheek.  I also enjoy the hell out of the right calf, and how the muscle is fairly visible.  Hooray for shading!

One note about this project:  SO MANY HANDS AND FEET.  Hands and feet have, as I have mentioned before, are my kryptonite.  I feel like I'm slowly getting the hang of it.

This is also going to be my first time building a custom frame for this piece (pieces?).  I will post a follow-up to let y'all know how that goes.

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