Jerusalem Man

EA007 - Jerusalem Guy


Well, I guess for starters, I’ll need paint, paper, a pencil, and brushes.  So I headed down to Michael’s Crafts (the only local art supply store which is open on Sundays) and started browsing.  What a cornucopia of options!  For starters, I guess I should just go with the least expensive and build from there once I have established a better sense of direction.


I purchased a Canson Mix Media XL-Series bound pad with 7”x10” sheets (cost something like $5.)  I also purchased a set of Basic Acrylics, comprised of six 200-ml tubes with the three primaries (red, yellow blue), along with black and white and a tube of green, for $20.  Michael’s Crafts seems to have a house brand called “Artist’s Loft,” which produces super-cheap art supplies.  I picked up a set of maybe 10 synthetic brushes for $5.  I have plenty of experience with landscapes and sketching nature, but I find the human form, with all of its rules of proportion and posing to be quite difficult.  I have found that, in life in general, the path of greatest resistance is usually the one which is the most worthwhile.  Therefore, I should start by trying to paint a person.  I purchased a little Artist’s Loft Manequin for $10.

Went home and, while watching “Project Runway,” with the wife, posed my mannequin, and started drawing.  Just an upright figure, really not posed at all, for starters.  We’ll put him in, say, a doorway somewhere in Jersualem, with the nice warm Jersualem limestone in the background.  Perhaps make the door and his pants blue and the shirt green, using cool colors to offset the overwhelmingly warm hue of the background.  And here’s what I ended up with:


Um… oooookkkay.  Not quite Leonardo da Vinci but everyone starts somewhere.  The enormous, square frame on tiny little legs with monster arms that could tear open an enemy tank makes him look a little bit like Schwarzenegger.  I think I’ll call it “Terminator in the Holy City.”  Really, what I did was to draw the mannequin itself and then throw on a layer of skin, followed by a layer of clothes.

The sketch looked better, but that’s because I have a lot more experience sketching than painting.  And it was fun to explore with layers (the fade from brown to yellow of the street, the different shades of white and darker green on his green shirt to give it some dimensionality.  The different shades of flesh tone on his arms also came out quite well, as skin tone is very hard to replicate and I got to this tone just by mixing primaries.

To be honest, I was quite disappointed with the mannequin.  Yeah, yeah, blame it on the mannequin.  But when I bent the limbs into a particular pose, they tended to just bend right back.  Also, the limbs were capable of bending in directions utterly impossible for a real human being.

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, this would be mine.

Leave a Reply