I was browsing the planetfigure.com forum and ran across a flat that caught my eye. I was very taken by how well painted this piece is. Bob Langenberg is the painter. I contacted him for permission to repost the piece. Here is the piece.
Bob wants us to know that he was inspired to paint the figure (above) by a work that he saw at a show. The original was painted by Peter Ferk. He writes,
Peter donated this piece to the auction at the first APG show in Gettysburg. I thought it was a masterpiece and have wanted to paint it ever since. My intent waste do something nice for my uncle, and hadn’t really expected this kind of attention.
In any event I do not want to take any credit for this piece as any form of original idea. I am proud of the painting, no doubt, but I feel compelled to give credit where it belongs.
I will do some research on this, but I think one of the differences between Peter Ferk’s work and Bob’s is that Peter paints in acrylics, at least according to an article I read in Historical Miniatures Magazine years ago, and Bob paints, well, I will let him tell you how he paints below. Bob sent me a photo of Peter’s work:
I asked him to tell me a little about himself and what led him to paint flats. Bob writes,
I am 52 years old originally from California now living in Montgomery Alabama. I am self employed in the commercial real estate business practicing traditional brokerage services and small scale land development. I am married with no kids other than the two five month old puppies intent on depriving me of any sleep whatsoever. I have modeled all of my life. My first exposure to figures was a local hoppy shop in Concord, California named Centurion Militaire. I actually began painting figures seriously in 1986 and attended my first figure show in 1990. I have attended the Atlanta show for 23 consecutive years now. I have displayed in Chicago a few times, though not for many years and have attended several world expos.
I’m not really sure what lead me to flats. About five years ago I was pretty burned out and didn’t feel like I was learning anything anymore. When I tried the first flat I was utterly hooked because it requires and entirely different thought process than round figures. I have since grown increasingly fascinated by diversity of techniques and styles I’ve seen on the net or various shows.
I am a pretty old school painter and my technique for flats is derived from the way I’ve painted rounds since that’s all I know. Effectively, I’ll clean up the piece and prime it with floquil gray primer. I will then “undercoat” with an acrylic color close to the desired finish color. The shading, highlighting, light effects, shadows etc… are then painted in artists oils. I will generally try to achieve the shape first followed by drapery always with attention to the direction of light, that being the biggest difference between flats and rounds; light and perspective. I will try to get as much done as possible wet on wet, but now almost always deepen shadows and lighten highlights with some wet on dry accenting. In some cases I will use a glaze over the entire section being painted if I want to try to “bend” the color a bit.
Ultimately I consider myself a novice at flats. I am trying very hard to improve the way I represent light. I have sincere admiration for Greg DiFranco, Penny Meyer, Rick Taylor, Konrad Schulte (SP, I hope I got that right) and many others on your site because of the way they represent light. I have been trying to learn more about color theory, in particular the use of gray, complimentary colors etc…Ultimatley that’s what I really like about flats…creating depth and shape using only color.
Here are a few more photos of Bob’s works.