January 19, 2011
Cezanne's 172nd Birthday
I became a huge fan of Cezanne's work during a trip through Europe a while back. A little burnt out on all the Renaissance art from the past ten museums or so, my wife and I stepped into a retrospective of his work in Florence. I had never seen his work except in terribly reproduced copies or books. Seeing his palette in "person" for the first time transformed my own perception of color. He was especially great at playing with shapes – maybe not so much an artist who broke rules inasmuch as he made precise fractures with the unique punch of his brush against the canvas. Needless to say, when the opportunity to celebrate Cezanne with a doodle arose, I knew I wasn't allowed to mess it up!
A very early concept for the Cezanne doodle. Digital. Notice the placement of the L and G are swapped... I messed up.
With that said, there was no way I was going to be able to paint a doodle digitally and feel like the doodle team did Cezanne any justice! So I broke out the oil paints and went at it on canvas instead.
Some process images, details, and the final. Oil on canvas. 18x36 inches.
I learned a great deal more trying to recreate his style and unique brushstroke. I'd have to copy a hundred more to get it right, but it was still a very rewarding experience. I hope it inspires some of you to visit a museum to see his work in person.
posted by Mike Dutton