Friday, May 4, 2012

"gotta love my mom": next painting

ben and joan in glacier 2009
for this next painting i have chosen a photo that we took out in glacier national park a couple of years ago when we were exchanging cars with our son who lives in portland. ben took the empire builder (amtrak train) out to montana and met us there after we drove the car out. we took the train home. it was a fun trip and he is showing his playful side in the reference photo. with mother's day rapidly approaching, this seemed appropriate.

drawing for "gotta love my mom"
to start this i drew the figures on 140# cold press arches paper that was 16"X20". i have quite a bit of this left over from several years ago before i decided that it wasn't my favorite (or even a close second) due to the amount of sizing. but i thought that i shouldn't waste it and maybe i have progressed to the point where the paper won't prove so resistant to my efforts.

with the last few paintings i began painting by putting an initial wash down over much of the figure and paper surface. in this instance i am reverting back to just starting out with the midtones in a variety of caucasian skin tones mixed from cadmium red light, cadmium yellow pale, and cerulean blue. i usually start a face done this way at the nose as it gets me loosened up in an area that is not so critical (?) and then move on to the most important eyes. i have enumerated the steps so many times in the past that i fear doing so again will bring on waves of ennui (see, i do have some book learnin').
close-up of initial washes

the difference here is that ben has his eyes closed which makes them all the more easy this time around. i mainly use the cerulean blue pretty much as it comes out of the tube with a little work out on the palette in areas that i want to recede. like medial eye sockets lateral plane of face by eyes, indentation beneath the lower lip, and just under the chin. his hair is blowing in the wind so i scrape the strands into the drying wash with a palette knife. the timing, as i have said before, is critical if one wants a light value mark. too early and you get a dark indentation in the paper that accumulates wet paint. i have found that the right time for this is after about a minute or two when the sheen is starting to disappear from the paint. i like to lose edges, especially if i think ia am going to go with predominantly and untouched background, and i did that here with just a splash of clear water that i touch to the hair wash to provide and escape path on ben's *right* side just above the ear. the same is done off the *left* cheek with a release into joan's hair. that is about all i am going to do on ben's face at this time

moving on to joan's face, i make a mental note to make her eyes the correct size. for quite a while i think that i have been unconsciously making the eyes a tad too large. in this drawing i note i had done the same thing. in painting the *left* eye i re-sized the upper lid with the shadow underneath it and re-sized the vertical dimensions when i painted in the iris and released it into the lower lid. i connected the eye wash with the hair laterally and upper cheek inferiorly. the ubiquitous palette knife scrapes representing hair strands are evident, for better or worse (who did that?). this 20 minute session ended with putting in some color on ben's hand and painting in the cast shadow right away as well as a bit of his sweatshirt. when i am painting in this way i think that it is important to keep connecting, connecting, connecting so that the whole thing flows and doesn't look like a bunch of disparate parts. we can always go back later and make a hard edge here and there if desired. c'est tout ce que, pour l'instant.

No comments:

Post a Comment