Painting ~ The Natural BreastJuly 30, 2007
The Saturday morning California Art Institute open session model; sort of. The model was so quick to undress no one commented on wanting to paint a costumed figure. Since just about everyone painting seems to do head and shoulders only, I’m not sure of the point of disrobing.
The old masters like Neil Boyle and David Jonas are gone now and don’t paint here anymore. They could do a beautiful full figure in the three hours (often much less time), I can’t. I usually struggle just to finish a head.
This model wanted to do a reclining pose. I found out why during the session as she fought to stay awake. Her gaze was straight ahead and her eyes small slits most of the time. At other times they would briefly open wide then shut completely. Her mouth was narrow, tight lipped and downturned. The background was a bright orange drape which I liked on the wall, but looked glaring on my canvas.
The painting I took home was so bad I was within seconds of tossing it. I took one more look and decided I liked the modest size and natural sag of her breasts and the look of the small creases in her belly.
I know four women who have had implants. All were married with children and on the outside at least seemed to have normal sized breasts. When they got their new bosoms they all cinched them up to about collarbone level. This made their chests look like the opera singers with iron cones. They should fix their heads and not their chests. Do they really want to be admired for the size of their breasts?
I changed the background to a darker color and repainted the face. She now looks at the viewer and has a softer mouth. I like this painting now.