OK, the painting "Pulling Onions" is almost complete, but, how about those legs of the figure on the right? Do they look too small to you? Let me tell you about my dilemma. The composition works, with the standing figure running vertically along the right side in contrast to the bent-over form on the left—this contrast animates the composition. Now look at the newly painted right foot of the standing figure (on viewer's left) and notice its disturbing contrast with the hand of the left figure that sits next to it. The bent-over figure's hand is very large in contrast to the minuscule size of the standing figure's right foot. To justify a larger foot for the standing figure I will need to paint his legs larger, which will cause him to take a spatial jump forward. Can the composition take this? Perhaps the composition needs it. The result of this transformation would make the standing figure more robust, with stronger legs supporting his strong upper torso. Perhaps the resulting larger right figure would increase compositional vigor, as the standing figure's stronger vertical form would increase its contrast to the rest of the composition. In quest of perfection, I must venture this change.
Yesterday's drawing was a simple warm-up. In this drawing you can see me warm up in order: central figure, right figure, left figure. One after the other were drawn, each more quickly, and more simply, than the last.
Before I go to the studio, take another look at disparate sizes of figures within the same composition. After my work I show Michelangelo's "Pieta." The Christ figure is extremely small when compared to his sitting mother, Mary. It has been said, if these two figures were to stand up, Mary would be be over seven feet tall and Christ would be around 5 feet 6 inches. So contrast from reality, within a composition, is sometimes necessary. This is my question concerning the two figures in "Pulling Onions." The bent-over figure is definitely must larger in stature than the standing one. The changes I have proposed for today will alter this extreme contrast of relative sizes, but it will not remove it; the standing figure will forever be the diminutive one.
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.