Every term I set myself a little goal to work towards, edges, flowers, values, whatever it may be. I use that goal as my main focus on all of my studies throughout the term. Of course this term is no exception however I cast my net a little wider and wanted to focus on making my Friday figure class study into more of a story or scene. I’ve always been drawn to The Orientalists style of paintings in terms of their stories, a familiarity with my own culture and religion as well as how decorative some of the elements are even in their architecture.
On Fridays we usually have a 10 week pose which we set, the goal during Ann’s Friday class has always been to focus on composition and the painting as a whole and not just the rendering side of the figure or portrait painting. For this term Ann chose a beautiful Velazquez painting for our model Arnold to emulate for the class.
Although the pose and subject matter is stunning I wanted to go down a more orientalist route with my painting. Pulling references by Rudolf Ernst I have begun to paint in one of his backgrounds behind my figure painting. There are only a handful of places I could really visualise a semi nude figure sitting comfortably in a scene without making it kitsch. So he is now a semi nude carpet salesman! …You may not want to purchase carpets from him in the future but you will believe it is a perfectly plausible scene captured.
I believe ultimately what I have discovered through the development of this painting is more the direction I would like to go in as a painter in the future. Although the background is not finished yet I plan on completing it over half term so for the rest of the 5 week pose I can tweak areas that need to be adjusted to make him look like he is actually a part of that background. The end goal is not to necessarily render everything up to perfection but tell a convincing story as a whole and use this as a reference for other paintings I would like to develop in the future.
Reference: Rudolf Ernst