Monday, August 28, 2006
progress report on portrait painting - step 2
(Click Here to go back to first post.)
Time for round two. All set to begin. (Tea at the ready - a safe distance from the turps). I mixed cobalt blue, burnt sienna , a touch of ivory black and flake white. I have 9 values 10 if I count black.
This painting is full of firsts for me. It's the first time I've ever tried two people in a single portrait, the first time I'm trying this technique(underpainting with cool grays) and the first time I have pre-mixed so much paint. First time doing it in front of people (OK, so it's only those reading this blog), but you still are people.
Painting is all about making decisions and following through with action. My first decision - was not to follow through and do a full value charcoal drawing. (It was more of a reaction really - so does that count as a decision?) I was too impatient and decided to jump right into painting. I sprayed the drawing with fixative and gave it a light wash to kill the white of the canvas.
A start with the major darks.
I tried to keep the shadow side of her face transparent. Even though it is the same value as the background, just touches with the neutral gray. You can begin to see the rough lay in of the values. I don't want to blend the paint at this point just make a patchwork of values. The thickest paint will end up being where the light is.(second big decision - I am making this technique up as I go along)
Painting is made up of hundreds of dangerous decisions. I pray one of the benefits I will eventually get from daily painting practice will be improved technique. Practice won't eliminate those hundreds of decisions, but it should make most of them second nature. I think this is because your brain starts to remember the repetitive decisions. When this happens your artistic or creative mind should have more freedom to interpret emotion.
Ahh,Freedom... That only means more choices, doesn't it? Vicious cycle.