Drawings and paintings in varying states of completion by Thomas Torak with comments, observations and musings by the artist.
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Sunday, February 19, 2012
When I teach I like to work directly on the student's painting. If I tell them the figure in their painting needs more light or weight, or the drawing is off, they usually understand what I mean. However if I show them how to mix the paint and apply it to the canvas the lesson is seen as well as heard. When they see their painting change the lesson has more resonance. The image posted here is one such classroom critique. Everyone who walks into the classroom wants to learn how to paint what they see. One of my first lessons is to help them understand what they see. "To paint what you see" I tell them "you must paint three portraits at the same time." The first, obviously, is a physical and psychological portrait of the subject before you, in this case a magnificent nude figure. Everyone sees the size and shape of the figure, her proportions and features, the colors and harmonies of what is before them. We don't see weight or character or attitude but we know that is something we want to get into our painting too. But there are two other portraits we must paint in order to paint what we see, a portrait of the light falling on the nude and a portrait of the space she is sitting in.....