Jordan has posed for us at the open figure sessions many times with good reason; She is a great model with natural poise and grace. Here are various drawings and paintings I have made of her over the years in three different mediums, acrylic paint, oil pastel, and my most often used medium soft pastel.
The first painting is a 24 by 30 inch acrylic painting that was done at the open session in Benedictine University. The painting shows her sitting on a small couch with her arms resting on the back and side. Her right leg is extended out, resting on an box that was not rendered in the painting, and her left leg up on the couch. Jordan was posing for about 2 hours, and I spent those 2 hours fervently painting with expressive strokes and taking risks with the colors I chose to use. Under those tight circumstances, quick decisions need to be made and you have to be willing to let go of rendering every detail, which is why the legs and hands are so vague and gestural.
This painting was made at a time when I was using very saturated acrylic paints straight out of the tube with little mixing. The important aspect of the paint I chose on any given area was the value. I had total disregard for the hue. It’s a mindset that was carried over when I studied art in high school, and I was very fond of using complimentary color schemes in acrylic paint. Using complementary color schemes teaches you how to render things according to value by being limited to only two pigments. In my case it was often dioxazine violet and cadmium yellow.
This of course later influenced my usage of pastels, and actually integrates in the medium quite well since mixing only occurs directly on the painting and only with deliberate blending. Using a limited set of pastels helps reinforce the disregard of hue by constantly having to substitute colors when the correct hue in the exact value is unavailable, which it often is. This can be seen in the included soft pastel where I used blue in the mid tones of the torso and face, and this is similarly executed in the oil pastel where the shadow transitions are.