The step by step process of drawing a Chinese clay bust at the Dayton Art Institute titled; Bodhisatta Guanyin.
I chose this piece to draw because the head dress would be challenging to accurately render from direct observation. Rather than the strong single light I would use in the studio to illuminate a subject, the museum has two equal lights above and set at the same distance from the piece. On a very symmetrical sculpture this casts two almost identical shadows that create a very deep shadow where they overlap. A 3/4 profile view seemed favorable.
I cut a piece of Canson bristol vellum and taped it to a slightly larger sheet of card stock held in a clipboard. I put down a few loose strokes of vine charcoal.
I smear the charcoal with a paper towel and indicate as accurately as possible key measurements. An elderly gentleman watching me make these initial marks told me that if I continued to take so long between strokes I’d be his age by the time I finished the drawing. I told him the next fifteen minutes would be more entertaining and he stuck around to watch.
Indications of height and width
Using straight lines to draw shapes
I begin to lift out tone with a kneaded eraser.
I switch to a darker piece of charcoal and finish shapes.
Back to the kneaded eraser to lift out lights.
Still using straightlines to draw shapes. The gentleman watching me for the past 45 minutes told me, “now you’re getting somewhere” and “I like how you use that putty” referring to the kneaded eraser.
A little into the second session. I am now using a 4b graphite pencil to render after softening the charcoal by lightly dabbing with a Viva paper towel. Unlike most brands the Viva towel does not have a patterned weave or embossing.
I use a blending stump to push some of the graphite into the paper surface which has loosened up nicely after all of the lifting with the kneaded eraser. The back and forth has broken up some of the paper fiber which creates a subtle texture that I like.
A close up. Clicking on any image will also show an enlargement.
Using 5b and 7b pencils I finish rendering. In this case I work from top to bottom and will then use an HB to make adjustments to the background and a sharpened white chalk for highlights.
November 17, 2011
I often tell students how important it is to practice. For a representational artist drawing is essential training.
The cost of models can make drawing from life prohibitve outside of group sessions. I have three plaster cast busts; Moses, Michelangelo’s David, and a Roman woman that hold still, never need a break and lend a bit of class to the studio. Though I can control the lighting, sit comfortably etc. in the studio, I still prefer the Dayton Art Institute’s collection of statues to draw from. The Asian collection in the basement is large, interesting and does not seem to get a lot of traffic during week days.
The drawing above was done at the museum over two sessions of about an hour and half each. Vine charcoal and graphite pencils on Canson bristol vellum which is a very nice heavy-weight acid free stock I buy in pads from Patterson Chase Co.
I took photos of the drawing in progress which I’ll post next. Camera flash lights are not allowed to be used in the museum so the images look just a little dark.
Song Dynasty clay bust 81/2″ x 11″ click on the image to enlarge
November 17, 2011
This limited palette portrait was drawn from photos I took of the subject. Rendered with Nupastels; brown and ochre along with a CarbOthello pastel pencil #620 on Strathmore paper. A kneaded eraser is used to lift out lights and some highlights.
I really enjoy doing this type of portrait commission between the larger oil paintings. It usually involves a more casual pose and clothing though this technique could be as successful for a more formal portrait.
This drawing is 16″ x 20″ with an additional 2″ of white border. Clients have framed them without matts (spacers necessary to keep the glass off the art), with matts or had the framer trim the two inch border off to fit into an already made frame.
The mother of the young musician told me that the portrait was a “great likeness” but also “beautifully expresses her personality”. Music to a portrait artist’s ears.
Click on the image for a larger view.
September 13, 2011
A preliminary head study for a larger oil painting. This is typical of the drawing that is approved for the likeness before I begin a larger oil portrait painting. The subject is being painted in a full figure pose with her brother and two dogs. Her mother thought the likeness was great and that I captured her daughter’s personality. 8.5″ x 11″ charcoal and graphite on Strathmore paper
August 24, 2011
A sketch of my Father done on his birthday two days ago.
Cleaning my studio recently I found some photos of Dad that I took as reference for an IBM illustration project in 1991. He posed as an executive in different postures, views and various hand gestures. I forgot to turn off the flash for a couple of shots which flattens out the lighting. One of those I used as reference for this drawing. I like his expression. I shot it between poses while we were talking. He was just days shy of his 54th birthday then, only three years older than I am now.
He died two and a half years ago at the age of seventy. I miss him.
Late Monday night I opened a beer and an old Grumbacher sketch pad and drew a small tribute to a great father.
10″ x 8″ graphite and charcoal on paper
April 14, 2010
By Khalid Moss
Dayton Daily News
4 August 2005
DAYTON | Sequestered in a narrow, windowless, industrial space inside the 23-acre Dayton Job Center at 1133 Edwin Moses Blvd. is a trove of art and iconography lovingly harvested by Mary Jane Popp â€” a woman with a passion for the most sacrosanct artifacts of the Catholic church.
Ten years ago Popp founded the Society for the Preservation of Roman Catholic Heritage (SPORCH), a nonprofit organization working to preserve and promulgate Catholic liturgical art and antiques.
“Our mission is to promote Roman Catholic traditions and heritage through its art and artifacts,” Popp said. “We do this through several programs. We have a museum program, an assistance to the clergy program, an artwork reproduction program and an educational program. One of our main goals is to get these wonderful, wonderful pieces back into the churches and back on the altars.”
Maintaining SPORCH has been an uphill battle for Popp and her daughter, Angelina. Strapped with a shoe-string budget and spiralling operating expenses, SPORCH is kept afloat primarily through Mary Jane Popp’s unsinkable spirit and her tireless efforts to recruit members, donors and benefactors.
(Click for larger image)
However, on Thursday, SPORCH held a reception to unveil what has been called the first commissioned oil painting of the new pope, His Holiness, Benedict XVI. The painting was commissioned by Christendom College, and Tim Langenderfer, acclaimed portrait artist from Dayton, was drafted to do the brush work.
“I don’t actually know if this is the first commissioned painting of Benedict,” Langenderfer said from his studio.
“If you do a search you’ll find that the Vatican has a couple of official photographs, but I’m not aware of any painted portraits. Frankly, I’m not aware of any paintings of him as Cardinal Ratzinger either, but I’m sure there must be some.”
Christendom College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts institution in Front Royal, Va., located in the Shenandoah Valley.
Christendom president, Timothy O’Donnell, met Popp at a convention several years ago and was impressed by SPORCH’s outreach and vision. Popp’s name came up when Christendom decided to install an image of the new pontiff.
Popp found a suitable photograph to work from, but, at the time, didn’t have a specific artist in mind.
“Weeks later, I had a booth at the Celtic Festival here in town and Tim happened to walk by,” Popp said. “He asked me if I knew of anyone who might need a painting. I immediately thought, ‘Oh, no. Here’s another one of those hacks who says they can draw.’ But when I saw the quality of Tim’s work, I wasn’t about to let this artist get away.”
Langenderfer, an adjunct professor of art at UD, has painted for the Senior Golf Tour, Dayton Philharmonic, Procter & Gamble and many others.
“He is just absolutely terrific.” Popp said. “I could see him being the new Bosseron Chambers of the Catholic world. Bosseron Chambers was the premier Catholic artist of the first half of 20th century. Tim is on the same level.”
Langenderfer, who charges up to $5,000 per portrait, said it took him more than 70 hours to complete the work.
“There was a lot involved because, of course, the pope couldn’t be here in person to pose like most of my portrait commissions,” Langenderfer said. “I had to do a lot of research. I had to construct the painting in a manner that wouldn’t violate anybody’s rights. I got a video of Benedict and I played it, and it was as if he was sitting here. I’m a big fan of the Holy Father, so the entire process was very exciting.”
The reception for Langenderfer and his painting at SPORCH will be followed by a similar event at Christendom College.
“President O’Donnell requested that I come,” Langenderfer said. “I told him I’m a big fan of Christendom College and assured him I would be there for the installation.”
Contact Khalid Moss at 225-2167.
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September 5, 2005
A painted portrait is a gracious way to honor parents and grandparents or revere a spouse. It can mark the coming of age of adolescents and young adults or capture the innocence of childhood. It is a sophisticated way to recognize and celebrate an achievement, accomplishment or important event.
A portrait artist’s sensitivity and skills can communicate character, convey dignity or even impart a sense of mystery. Well done, it is more than a good likeness; it also invokes a subject’s personality.
A portrait that is enjoyed today becomes part of a lasting heritage. A beautiful painting or drawing will greatly enrich your home. As a treasured heirloom it will always enrich your heart.â€
Tim Langenderfer, Portrait Artist
June 25, 2005