July 14, 2013

From Drawing to Painting and Back Again: A Man and His Cat on Christmas

I still have in my collection a small square painting I did of a man and his cat looking at a painting of two dancing men who were sporting tuxedos and top hats. Or perhaps they both were watching them live on a wide screen television. Either interpretation will do. The small painting had some charm and I’m surprised that noone purchased it. But at least it is being seen again since I posted it on Etsy.

Looking through my notebooks, I found the original sketch for this painting. In keeping with my current drawing completion and restoration project, I added details and finished the background with complex patterns drawn in pencil - expanding the 6" x 6" composition into an 8" x 10" drawing. This entailed adding two more cats and revamping the entire scene into one depicting a celebration of a solitary Christmas. Or perhaps the man in the drawing has already been to enough parties and was now back home to be entertained shortly before retiring for the evening. Either interpretation will do.

Once again, the lavish details of the drawing made it much more complicated (and time-consuming to complete) than the painting. I even troubled myself to create a pattern in the rug in one point perspective, with the vanishing point at a Christmas ornament at the juncture of the wall and the floor. This patterned turned out to be a bit overwhelming so I broke it up with rectangular areas of white.

One amusing detail for me is the painting on the wall of a woman’s leg and a skirt. This was taken from an illustration I made for a poem called “Lady Joy Killer.” (Perhaps I will post it in the future). Mozart used to include passages from his earlier operas in his new ones - like the theme from The Marriage of Figaro in Don Giovanni. So I figured if Mozart could do it then so could I.

Although the drawing appears to be a revision of the painting, actually it is a return to original observations and impressions. The man was a nude model that I studied from life at Parsons School of Design. The dancing men were drawn from a live performance in Trenton, New Jersey. The two cats were my studies of our enormous Maine Coon. Max has been appearing in a number of new drawings, the latest one finished today to be posted later.

No comments: