Friday, April 6, 2012

the great airbourne lunch attack: next project

drawing and initial washes
since the show i have in about 8 months is going to be portraits and figures (and figures in landscape) i want to have enough to choose from to ensure the best quality work i can produce. in pursuit of this i decided to do a figure painting of a guy on his lunch break in a square in downtown seattle that i took last june. i was about 200-300 feet from the action and just took random shots of people around the square. when i looked at the long shot of the figure i was surprised to see there was a surprise sortie occurring at the hands (wings?) of a hungry pigeon. this was entirely serendipitous. after some manipulation i came up with a cropped version that i will use as an inspiration for the painting. here is the drawing with a bit of wash applied (i can't seem to stop myself from putting in a splash of color at the earliest time in these!)

close-up of face and surrounding area

the paper is a sheet of 20"X16" fabriano artistico hot press 140# watercolor paper. i must say that the smooth texture on this paper makes drawing easier, at least it seems so to me, as the tooth on the rougher papers drags a bit on the pencil. i started the painting using a #8 round and some ultramarine blue and brown madder in the background and treated that and the shadow along the left (his *right*) of his hat and under the bill on his face down to his chin/beard as one shape. this highlighted his nose, *left* ear, and the *left* side of his beard. the color for the hat was yellow ochre and the colors for the flesh in shadow were the same plus cerulean blue and cadmium red light. as i had a puddle flesh color sitting on the palette i put a tint on his hands and blended that into the jeans on his knee. the reference photo actually shows this as almost white but i didn't want to take anything away from his startled face and the pigeon so i painted a bit of local color with cerulean blue right out of the tube after some dilution. i painted a light pink on his nails that will be surrounded by the regular flesh color after it dries. i started experimenting with the colors for his hoodie and put in some ultramarine blue and burnt sienna on the arm and cuff near his hands. it looks like a decent start and i look forward to painting more on this tomorrow.

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