Wednesday, January 12, 2011

listen my children. 1

drawing for "listen my children"
well, so far so good....the drawing and initial washes as promised. all right, i admit i got lazy and this is the one and only drawing i did for this painting. it is what i call a modified contour drawing in that i tried to locate the major shapes that i will use with the washes.  you can see i had trouble with the children in the foreground mainly because i made the man a little too big and had to "scrunch" the kids into the foreground.  i think i can make it work, but i am not all together happy with it. this will just make the whole process a bit more challenging and exciting.  i also "decided" to overlap some of the shapes of the kids with the old man to give me some "tie-ins" more easily when i start painting.

first wash for "listen my children"
just some materials and tools talk up front.  i use kolinski sable round brushes from #2 up to #12. i rarely use a flat brush as i find i can create one from a round brush by pressing down almost to the ferule when doing the stroke.  i use a metal palette.  almost all my colors are holbein except for quinacridone gold which i use in landscapes and still lifes and is winsor+newton. 140# fabriano artistico cold press paper in the 16X20 inch size is the paper i usually use and it is supported on a couple of pieces of foam core clamped together and held at a 45-60 degree angle on a standard french easel. i do not soak and stretch the paper as i usually do not apply the larger washes that buckle the paper. i started this painting with a mid-value which i usually do to get the over all value of the painting established.  with that i know that some areas will be darker and some lighter. but this is a value against which to gauge all the rest. the wash is made up of cadmium red light, cadmium yellow pale,  and cerulean blue....mostly mixed on the paper after working the color out a bit on the palette for the flesh color. i treated the entire side of his face, forehead, eye sockets, under the nose, mouth, ear, and neck as one big shape and used a moist brush to pull out some paint onto the near cheek and up onto the the near side of the nose to give both areas some color. the hat bill and dark area on the left side of the cap i also treated as one shape along with the portion of the background (which also describes the top of the light portion of the hat) which will be a bus and its cast shadow. for this portion i substituted ultramarine blue for the cerulean. the arms are "released" into the shadows within the sleeves of the shirt as well as the cast shadow on his forward thigh and knee and front of his shirt under the elbow.  just to soften the area over the knee i used a damp brush to draw some of this color into the jeans.  i have to continually  remind myself that you can soften edges now and reclaim them as found later but it is very difficult to leave an edge hard now and soften it later if you don't like it.  the last thing i did here was pick up the puddles that collected on the bottom of the washes with a "thirsty" brush to avoid back washes (blooms) from occurring. some more progress on the painting tomorrow.

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