The long pose painting sessions from last year started again. It is always a rude awakening to scan these: I need much practice and even more diligence. I tend to over-work some parts and disregard others, in search for the right values and colors by layering, rather than jumping to the right tone with authority and command. And of course, at the end I have a crude observational drawing that has been wrestled to death into an even cruder painting. I know it sounds harsh, but it is important for me to stay aware of the issues I must work on. There is nothing more to do but to keep trying!
In any case, in the last half an hour of the model session, I decided to exaggerate and make a cartoony image of the same pose. I've been doing these silly cat ladies this year in an effort to find the fun of drawing again, since last year's work at Pearson left me somewhat burned, and not very excited about doing art that much. I am a game designer, working on a children's videogame. It is a nice job, I work with talented people, and we create a beautiful product, but using someone else's style takes its toll after a while.
In any case, and regardless of these paintings' issues, it is interesting to compare them side by side. I never considered observational painting an end on itself. I do it because I want to stay sharp and learn more about formal issues, even when I appreciate when other people do it as a form of art themselves. My hope is that these figure sessions are informing my cartoony characters, my color and rendering, and maybe even my concepts.