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Friday, June 11, 2010

On Her Toes, ballerina dancer in Degas style, oil painting

"On Her Toes" is 5"W x 7"H, oil on linen over panel.  I started this a few weeks ago and only sketched in the figure. In an afternoon, I painted the rest alla prima.  The model is Toni Czechorosky who posed during an open figure studio at Randy Higbee's Gallery.  She has become a good friend of mine and I will paint more of the ballet dancer poses.  It is a subject I have wanted to paint for many years and finally started.  This was sold in hours of posting it on Facebook to another artist friend I have met from Randy's Studio sessions.  You can see here the red oil wash sketch I began with. I find that if I paint in my subject this way, in diluted oil color, I can manipulate the drawing to suit my needs for focal point and accuracy of proportions, values and placement.  Once I am content or if I am not, I continue to wipe away and redo until I feel it is ready to add color.  The color painting process can alter the drawing, but nothing is set in stone.  I was very pleased with this in the final completion. 
One more bit of information, I spent a month studying Edgar Degas and how he painted the ballet dancer.  His paintings and statements inspired me.  Although I knew of Edgar Degas for decades and admired all of his works, I was sparked to paint this by the latest modeling session of the above model as she dressed in Degas style ballet attire.  This was an extra pose the model made while on a break and I shot the image.
I wanted to take up ballet as a young girl when I was spry.  My family could not afford lessons, so I would just dance around the livingroom on my tippy toes.  I think it stubbed my toe growth, I didn't wear the proper ballet shoes.  Now, I can experience the magic of ballet by painting the dancers.  More will be made!

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