Whew! I finished a new piece last night: Bread Boys. It has taken me all summer, but it is
finally completed. The excitement isn’t just at completing the piece, but at doing it well. At least, I think so. With this piece, I was really striving to improve my threadwork on faces and hands. In works that I did last summer and fall, I felt that my faces had become too blocky or cartoonish looking. I had simplified the process in order to be able to teach it to others, but went to far, and lost some of the realism I was striving to attain. This time, I doubled the number of threads that were used in each face from 5 to 10 and really worked on blending the
colors and values so that there were not clear divisions between value areas. Here is a of picture of one of my older faces and a new one.
I also put extra focus into the hands of these boys. A chronic problem is that the fingers often come out looking like sausages. I went to my mentor, teacher, and husband for advice from someone who paints these features quite well. He taught me that hands should be thought of in a series of flat planes joined together, not rounded tubes. Sections of the fingers should be treated like boxes joined together. Here are photos of previous work next to these new hands. I’m still not completely happy with the new hands and will
continue to improve on this feature in my next piece…The Cobbler. His hands will be a real challenge!