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Amedeo Modigliani is an Italian artist famous for his uniquely stylized portraits. I always like his paintings and attempted a study years before. Somehow Modigliani’s Madame Amédée reminded me of my neighbor’s cat, and my original plan was to use the composition of the original painting, and replace the head with that of a cat’s. It didn’t work out and I switched back to the lady. The result wasn’t much of a copy, and you can still see the trace of my deviation.
This is another try. This time it was not a copy, but I tried to stylize a self-portrait. I meant to focus on the inner world of subject, but somehow it was all spilled over into the background. As a result I went way beyond his typical palette, which is quite muted.
After learning drawing and painting humans for a while, I find myself even more fascinated by Modigliani’s ability to go beyond realist forms while stay true to the spirit and character of his subjects. I probably will do more studies of Modigliani in future.
For the first 25 days, see 100 Day Art Challenge (1) – Day 1 to Day 25
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Elegant Writer is a special type of water-soluble marker that bleeds in various colors. They have chiseled nibs and are probably made for calligraphy. I couldn’t remember when I bought my set, but somehow for many years, rarely used them. It’s time to give these markers a chance before they completely dry out.
Black Elegant Writer on paper:
Add water to the above drawing:
Blue and black:
Testing other colors:
A few notes:
- I used regular Canson drawing paper, and I believe to what extend it’s soluble depends on paper. So test it.
- The black one is the most interesting. It bleeds in blueish, greenish and reddish gray and really adds to the drawing.
- The blue one gives out some pinkish hue in addition to blue, but the green, red and the brown ones are pretty much just their own colors.
- The red, blue and green colors are more staining than black.
- I have no training in calligraphy, but I can see a trained hand could produce more interesting lines with a chiseled nib.
I did a watercolor painting on pre-matted rice paper (xuan paper) before, and I tried it again recently with different paints:
A few notes:
- The paper I used is something like this, but I bought it from China and it was a lot cheaper.
- The first two paintings were done with Chinese paints that commonly used for brush painting on rice paper. The brand is Marie, and it’s available on Amazon.
- “Kaydee” is done in sumi ink, a cheap one from Daiso.
- “Nikki” is in western watercolor.
- The Chinese colors are a lot more opaque and hold better on rice paper, which is very absorbent.
- The western watercolor dries very light and very flat. I went back multiple times trying to enhance the value. When the paper is wet, the pigment swims away to wherever with a blink of eye.
- There’s no lifting with rice paper after it’s dry. You can pat it with a tissue paper and lift some pigment, but you can’t get rid of edges that way.
- Sumi ink is the most staining of all.
- I absolutely don’t know how to apply the skills involved in the first painting (the rooster one) to the later ones.