Sunday, May 22, 2011

2-nu three: franca and mississippi overlook

i am finally back and ready to get on with some of the paintings that i want to do from the photos that i took out in porcupine. as has happened in the past i was away from the projects that i started before the trip out to pine ridge long enough ago to have lost a bit of enthusiasm  for them, but i am determined to finish them and not let them languish! i started today on the landscape with painting the young man on the left. his clothes were darker than the other two and i used mainly cobalt blue and raw umber with a #6 round brush. same brush for the flesh colors which are my old stand-by's.
"trail's reward"
after that i applied large washes for the more foreground grasses, etc. with my 3/4" and 1" flat brushes using pretty much all the same colors that i have used up until now on the more background /distant structures, namely ultramarine blue, hooker's green, quinacridone gold, raw umber and sienna, and burnt umber. to add some color in the foreground and to darken it a bit so that it seems to come forward i painted in a more violet set of washes to denote nearer grasses, etc. the reflection on the mighty mississippi was last and recapitulated the hills in the distance that were reflected in its surface. a few scrapes and splashes and i felt that was enough and stopped.

turning to franca's portrait i started by setting my timer for 30 minutes after getting fresh water and cleaning my palette and brushes. in the last few weeks i have fallen into what i feel is a bad habit of painting, painting, painting using ever more dirty water and palette. setting the timer and stopping very half-hour or so, stretching, refreshing the water and cleaning the brushes is a good way to remind me that these are as important as anything else. it also affords me some time to look at the painting from a distance which always gives me more perspective on what i am doing.
"franca" next steps

i painted more of her shirt using the 3/4" flat using ivory black with a little mineral violet, turquoise blue, and a bit of ultramarine blue in places. i wanted to lose the edge behind *her* right shoulder and torso so i added a nondescript wash in the background in that area to do so. i then painted in the *right* side hair with my #12 round using burnt umber, alizarin crimson permanent, and some ultramarine blue applied in sweeping and curling kind of strokes much as i imagined her hair to do. these colors were for the most part mixed on the paper and only ever so lightly on the palette. when this was losing its sheen i scraped in the strands of hair with the flat end of my 3/4" flat brush handle (its kind of a sky-wash brush with a beveled end to the clear plastic handle). i put in a flesh-colored wash over the lower hand using cadmium red light, cadmium yellow pale , and cerulean blue, again, mixed mostly on the paper. the cast shadow under that arm was painted at the same time to get a necessary tie in. i will come back when that is dry to do some minimal modelling on the hand (but not too much as it has a supporting role in this show with the face securing the lead.) again, i wanted the hair to blend into the background on the *right* and an extension of the same grayish wash of cerulean blue, alizarin crimson, raw sienna was splashed on and pushed around a bit in order to lose that edge. i over mixed it a bit but i won't fret over it and risk muddying it up. i decided that i didn't want to paint and didn't really like the bracelets on the down arm so painted over them. i will put in the larger band on her*right* arm when the time comes, though. the timer has dinged and so i will behave and obey. as it is lunch time i will probably stop for the day and pick it up tomorrow.

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