JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Francesca 8 April 2018

It is Sunday 8 of April 2018, and I am on my way to a live model drawing and painting session at studio de Stoker in Amsterdam. It is one of the first warm days this year, so I am a bit steamy right now. I am on the train to The Hague, but I will hop off at Amsterdam Zuid and take bus 15 from there. It is sunny, and I really want to paint today. Last weeks session got canceled, and in a way, it was nice to have a day off, and I used it to correct errors on my blog. Then on Monday, I had a mandatory day off where I went to the Municipal Museum of The Hague, and I even blogged about it, a grumpy story.

Today I am happy though.

I have no idea who the model is, but I hope it is a beautiful model.

This week I have been reading about the Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Ratio, and I viewed a YouTube video of Professor Keith Devlin at Stanford University when he held a lecture 2012 about the Golden Ratio & Fibonacci Numbers - Facts versus Fiction. It is a long video but these two passages are interesting:

Keith highlights in the second clip that two French scientists found in their research that the Golden Ratio is the optimal way for plants to arrange discrete objects, leaves etc, to make optimal use of sunlight. I conclude hereof that in the plant's world, the base form is often something round (circular). Then this round shape has a layout of spirals or leaves etc and these objects are often whole number approximations of the Golden Ratio.

In the human world, we often use rectangles and squares as our base form of things and we are not interested in arranging things in relation to sunlight. It does not make sense to me to try to subdivide a rectangle into relative distances based on the Golden Ratio just because the ratio is called divine.

Primarily I think we should start to see the Golden Ratio as a plant's related number. We cannot just take things out of context and reuse it for totally different purposes. Fit a square peg in a round hole so to speak. If you are about to layout things on a circle and you indeed make use of Fibonacci numbers and you do it for the purpose of optimizing the use of light then you are using the Golden Ratio for the purpose it serves.

Nothing disturbs me more than lies. The findings from the French scientists are plausible. I suppose it is the morality in me that gets upset with being told lies right up my face like the things I heard about the golden ratio. Then it does not matter that the lies are 1400 years old and unproven.

The model today was Francesca! I painted her before, and she is a sweet model. She posed dressed today. That is fine as such, and because of this, I concentrated on making a portrait of her today. She had a velvet dress that sparkled and very long chestnut brown hair and big golden earrings. It is as if we paint more and more dressed models, especially if Tom is not present. Today it was Saskia, Frank and me painting Francesca.

I placed her face in the upper left corner so that I would have enough room to paint her right hand. Perhaps one could think of a Fibonacci curl starting at the face ending at her hand?

I sketched her face and ear, and when done I controlled the distance from the ear to the eye, and I had made her chin too short, and this was not the first time I did that. I had to move her ear back, and then things started to fall into place.

When I came out of the basement where the studio is, the warmth was peeking for the day. I went back home, contemplating about my painting of Francesca and the people around me.

At the train station Amsterdam Zuid I took a panorama photo of the buildings on the other side of the platform. You can click on it to see a bigger version. Actually, you can click on all images to get a bigger version!

With this painting, I will continue next week. It would be nice to work more on the hand and verify the face and then give Francesca the earring back. So there is work to do on the painting. The ear is too big. We will see, more on that next week.

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If you need to send me a link or something personal you can do that on jens at malmgren dot nl.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.