Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rex the Gardener (Work in Progress)

I have emerged temporarily to share with you this work in progress. This was commissioned to be a portrait of "Rex" and his grass garden. I was invited to the premises to photograph the wonderful garden. I was given two photos of Rex. I was to place the face from one (in a squatting position) on the body of the other. In the standing photo, the legs were covered by plants and the gentleman's hand was resting on a fence rail. I was to combine the face/figure and magically make it appear as though he were occupying the space in his garden. I am still having difficulty with the hand. I placed it on a shovel handle but I have repainted it several times. It now appears as a blob while I wait to rework it once it is dry. I invited Miss B (my daughter's former first grade teacher) to have a look and let me know how she thinks it's coming along. If any of you wonderful people in Blogville have any suggestions as to what to do, please send me a post. Thank you!


Shazza said...

Hey Neetz - one thing I notice is that one sleeve is rolled up and the other is not and to me it seems to make the arms look a different legnth.

I like the handle on the shovel, but maybe if you painted the sleeve rolled up it will look more like he's working.

The grasses and background is painted beautifully and I think Rex looks great!

dive said...

As always, you do light coming through foliage better than anyone since Cezanne, Neetzy.
I love the way it plays around the grasses, too.
That's a beautiful garden, Rex!
The grass in front of him places him nicely within the scene so it doesn't look like it's a painting of a garden with a painting of a man stuck on it.
The hand is coming on just fine. You have the whole relaxed posture of his arm just right and I can feel the weight of it resting on the spade handle.
I like the composition, too, with Rex standing slightly to the left of where you'd expect him to be so it's actually his arm coming down the Golden section line.
And the way the blue grass spreads out from his blue clothing helps place him within the scene, too.
There are so many good things, here Neetzy. Do let us see how it progresses.

And Shazza; I often roll up one sleeve if I'm about to get messy; men are too lazy to roll both up when we don't need to. I like that detail.

neetzy said...

They are actually both a little rolled up. One is rolled up more than the other. I think that is what's making my eyes buggy. I'm not sure I want to "guess" what his bare arm looks like. (It might be hairy!) I loved doing the background and while I have good photos, may do just a painting of the garden for me.

neetzy said...


I love you! Thank you for comparing me with Cezanne. You are way too kind. Thank for for understanding the uneven sleeve dilemmna. I was quite taken with this garden. The owner of the garden is a wonderful person and I understand that Rex is just as wonderful. Miss B. came over tonight and absolutely loved it! I won't release it to her until I fix the hand. I have to order a print of it as well.

I enjoy posting these up on my blog and viewing it from me laptop. I also enjoy getting constructive criticism!

Barbara Pask said...

Hi, I was hoping you had posted the portrait you had been working on. I like it, it has a nice loose feel to it. I zoomed in on the hand and I think the hand looks good but the handle it is resting on is too much the same value. Maybe change the color of the handle, just a thought. They expected a lot of you, piecing this all together like you did. Great job

neetzy said...

Thanks Barbara,

This was a huge challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed painting it. I learned a lot as I do with every painting. I will play with the hand and the shovel a bit more. Thanks for your input. (Sorry it took so long to get it posted!)

Her Eye Zone Art said...

Hi Neetzy,

Tough job handling a composite for a painting, but it looks very good. Your greenery is, an usual, magnificent. :)

Her Eye Zone Art said...

P.S.- Great shadow play on his shirt and his face looks so friendly. I always have the hardest time with hands, so to me it looks like it's coming along great!

neetzy said...

Her eye zone,

How are ya? Long time no talk to! Hands are difficult and when you have to improvise they are even more difficult! I was tempted to just place them behind his back! Looking at it on-line helps. I think I can see what needs to be adjusted. For some reason, I see things better when they are posted!

neetzy said...

Her Eye Zone,
I hope you read this.
I can no longer visit your blog. I must be invited. I miss visiting you. I will visit again if you invite me!

Her Eye Zone Art said...

Hi Neetzy,

You're right about being able to see mistakes and incomplete details better on the computer. I'm not sure why that is. Sometimes that irritates me. What did the old masters do?

Sorry about my blog thing, I'm reworking it or trying to find a program that works better for me. Still undecided about what to do. I'll add your name on the list so you can get in. but I don't have any updates right now. Glad you let me know!

neetzy said...

Thanks Her eye zone,
By the way, I think I solved the problem. I had my husband "hand model". The position holding the shovel was entirely different thant the position of the hand resting on the "mailbox" post.

Claire, said...

Hi there!

Neetzy, Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind comments left. I LOVE that you show your work here, I can't wait to browes...!
We live in Santa Cruz County, Ca. We're about 1 hour south of San Francisco right on the Monterey bay. It's quite exquisite and we pay a high cost of living for the luxury.
Where does your brother live? If ever you would like to visit our area, please come visit me! Though I have only read a few of your comments here on this post (and on my blog) I really like your style, you sound like a class act!
Bring your drawing and painting supplies!
Best warm regards, Claire Gaston

neetzy said...

Claire, Thanks for the invite!
My brother used to live right in Santa Cruz, he now lives in Campbell, but is looking to buy a place back in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a great town. We took the kids there after his wedding. It was during the four-day rain storm in January. My kids had fun watching the sea lions off the municipal wharf pier.