Remembering New York, Summer 2014 (Part 2: Painting from Life)

On Week Two at the Art Students League, I switched to a painting class, still under Mary Beth McKenzie, and came up with these portraits. The small double portrait was a struggle for me, so for the next poses, I opted for solos. I also discovered the joy of painting on unstretched canvas pads–perfect for quick paintings on-the-go.

My favorites from this series are the stylized Betty and Henry I, done with experiments with the palette knife.

As in Remembering New York, Summer 2014 (Part 1: Large-Scale Drawings), below are the paintings I came up with, captioned with thoughts for each day:

First day of painting from life today under Mary Beth McKenzie.  I have never painted a live figure before but gosh how I've missed painting! All the colors! I started with yellows, blues and reds, but muted them in tones to get a more realistic feel. Ev

First day of painting from life today under Mary Beth McKenzie. I have never painted a live figure before but gosh how I’ve missed painting! All the colors! I started with yellows, blues and reds, but muted them in tones to get a more realistic feel. Even then, you can tell that I’m not a big fan of traditional colors. Hopefully after 4 weeks of this I will have figured out something more concrete about what I like and don’t like in figure painting! Students at the League normally have 3 weeks to finish a painting, after which a new pose is introduced. I’m coming in on week2 for this pose. How nice it must be to work on a huge canvas! It requires a different mindset. Composition-wise, it’s a great exercise. I want to take my works home, though, so I’m painting small (18×24 inches — which is still a good size).

Seated Male and Female Acrylic on canvas
18×24 inches
Work in progress

#painting #live #figure #onthespot acrylic #workinprogress #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc

Day2 update on this painting. Most details done, but I'm still on the fence about what to do with the background. Tomorrow our teacher comes in for a critique. Hope she has helpful insights. I see people in class use mirrors to check for errors (easier to

Day2 update on this painting. Most details done, but I’m still on the fence about what to do with the background. Tomorrow our teacher comes in for a critique. Hope she has helpful insights. I see people in class use mirrors to check for errors (easier to spot in mirror-image)…maybe I’ll do that too tomorrow! 🙂 #painting #acrylic #live #figure #art #artstudentsleagueofnewyork

The many transformations of the background:
Montalut NYC 2014 (15)

Montalut NYC 2014 (24)

Montalut NYC 2014 (25)

Montalut NYC 2014 (13)

We are alone. Acrylic on canvas 18x24 inches July 11, 2014  What is intimacy? Why do we sometimes feel more alone when we're with someone?   ----- Thought I'd have this afternoon to work on the final details of this but our female model didn't show up tod

We are alone.
Acrylic on canvas
18×24 inches
July 11, 2014

What is intimacy? Why do we sometimes feel more alone when we’re with someone?
—–
Thought I’d have this afternoon to work on the final details of this but our female model didn’t show up today. Will have to pick it up at some point and finish it from memory or imagination, but for now it is done.

#painting #acrylic #figure #onthespot #2weekpose #male #female #alone

Quick painting today, under 2 hours. Tried to capture the model's mood but I think I showed more of mine. :p  Trying to paint in the same loose way I did those large scale drawings. But I like the rawness of this.  #painting #acrylic #figure #live #female

Quick painting today, under 2 hours. Tried to capture the model’s mood but I think I showed more of mine. :p Trying to paint in the same loose way I did those large scale drawings. But I like the rawness of this. #painting #acrylic #figure #live #female

"Models are posing." Acrylic on Canvas 18x24 inches July 16, 2014  We paint from life at the League. There are two models posing together but my seat has the better view for a single figure. Betty will hold this pose from 1pm to 430pm everyday, with 5 min

“Models are posing.”
Acrylic on Canvas
18×24 inches
July 16, 2014

We paint from life at the League. There are two models posing together but my seat has the better view for a single figure. Betty will hold this pose from 1pm to 430pm everyday, with 5 minute breaks every 20 mins, for three weeks.
#painting #acrylic #figure #live #female #portrait #studio #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc

Two more versions of Betty. I've been painting one Betty a day this week!  #painting #acrylic #figure #live #female #portrait #studio #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc #art

Two more versions of Betty. I’ve been painting one Betty a day this week! #painting #acrylic #figure #live #female #portrait #studio #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc #art

Blue Betty Acrylic on canvas 18x24 inches July 17, 2014  #painting #acrylic #figure #live #female #portrait #studio #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc #art

Blue Betty
Acrylic on canvas
18×24 inches
July 17, 2014

#painting #acrylic #figure #live #female #portrait #studio #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc #art

Betty Acrylic on canvas 18x24 inches July 17, 2014  Experimented with lines and texture -- I like the scrapes and scratches and the stylized edges. Teacher said that among my four works this week, the paintings that are most succesful are this and Blue Be

Betty
Acrylic on canvas
18×24 inches
July 17, 2014

Experimented with lines and texture — I like the scrapes and scratches and the stylized edges. Teacher said that among my four works this week, the paintings that are most succesful are this and Blue Betty. Now I’m understanding the benefits of 1) painting everyday, and 2) painting from life, and 3) painting the same subject everyday.

#painting #acrylic #figure #live #female #portrait #studio #artstudentsleagueofnewyork #nyc #art

Henry I Acrylic on canvas 18x24 inches July 21, 2014  Changed seats in class today and played with the palette knife. Will try a full portrait tomorrow.  #nyc #art #painting #acrylic #figure #live #male #hat #suit #white #artstudentsleagueofnewyork

Henry I
Acrylic on canvas
18×24 inches
July 21, 2014

Changed seats in class today and played with the palette knife. Will try a full portrait tomorrow.

#nyc #art #painting #acrylic #figure #live #male #hat #suit #white #artstudentsleagueofnewyork

Montalut NYC 2014 (28)

Henry II
Acrylic on canvas
18×24 inches
July 22, 2014

Last portrait from Live Figure Painting class. Tried to incorporate lessons from abstract class into the background. Not sure if it was successful, but I’m happy with the color play.