Tuesday, May 31, 2011
may watercolor challenge: wet canvas
it will be a challenge both because of the pose but also the bright lighting on the subjects with a very dark background so it is aptly named. i started out by drawing the figure on a piece of 15"X18", 140#, fabriano artistico traditional white cold press paper. per usual i began painting on the figure's face. cadmium red light and cadmium yellow pale are the main colors in my flesh tome and i add a bit of cerulean blue to cool it down and darken the value when necessary. while i mix the red and yellow a bit on the palette i almost always add the cerulean wet in wet on the paper. it just seems to stay fresher and cleaner that way.
a dab of paint (alizarin crimson and cadmium red light) in each corner and the middle of the upper lip started the process on the mouth. i drew this out with a damp clean brush (#6 round) and drew the same type of brush horizontally across the far corner and mid lip of the near side. there was enough paint left there to do the same with the lower lip leaving the highlight in the middle alone. i did the near eye structures with the same technique as described for the far eye and tied the shadow of the medial socket with that on the near side of the nose. i started the side shadow of the face by placing a spot of cerulean blue lateral to the eye defining that side plane using a #10 round and then drawing it down the cheek with the flesh colors going back and forth not stopping until i reached her dress and sweater line.
her hair was painted using mainly the flat brushes and quinacridone gold, raw sienna, and burnt umber. i scraped in hair strands using the beveled handle end of a skywash brush and palette knife when the paint dried to the point it would leave a light rather than a dark mark (sheen just leaving the paint). i lost the edge on the shadow side of her head/hair by applying the back ground pigment right after this using the same colors as in front but a little darker. i carried this down to the lower right corner and blended the background into the back of her sweater using cobalt blue and raw umber for the shadow shapes on the figure. i finished the chick with a blended wash of cadmium yellow medium, raw umber and burnt sienna. i think it got a little dark and didn't lighten as much when i dried as i anticipated. this will lift pretty easily with the colors i use so i will wait to correct this "value" problem until i have almost finished to be sure i get it right. beak and eye were put in last with ivory black for the latter and a dilute alizarin crimson for the former.