i have continued to paint on the large painting of the couple. i have been working the hands and modeling the arms and hands of the woman. additionally i have started the stripes on her blouse. the interesting thing i have noticed is that as i get further into refining the figures the value of the background is starting to seem more correct to me. we'll have to see when i finish the figures but i suspect very little more will need to be done relative to the background. here is a photo of where we are right now.
this last week also marks the first time in quite a while that i have painted from life. we had a 3-hour session with a great young model at the vitamin studio this last wednesday. there were only three of us painting plus the model (and one guy shucking tomatillos....don't ask). i was interested in seeing how some of the newer techniques were going to work in this setting with limited time. it actually went quite well. the drawing gave me the most trouble as i hadn't done live drawing for several months, but eventually i got one that i thought would work. then i had to figure out what colors. dean mitchell, a noted african-american painter has said (hearsay, though i have been told by a reliable source) one can paint the skin of people of color that is believable if you don't use brown out of the tube. keeping that in mind i used scarlet lake, raw sienna, cerulean blue, winsor blue, ultramarine blue, and even some permanent rose. all put one over the other with thin glazes. i am going to have the majority of the background dark around his head and started working toward this end with a layer of cerulean blue, followed by raw sienna, and finishing with permanent rose. this has left us with a warm rosy undertone from which to darken with layers of blue. i put a stripe of viridian and cerulean blue across the image at shoulder level just for a splash of color that isn't anywhere else in the painting and may be a window frame in the end product. his hoodie and cap are combos of cadmium red light and alizarin crimson. by two and a half hours thing were definitely needing time to dry as the whole painting was pretty damp and really not paintable with any modicum of control. so i packed up watched the others finish work on their oil paintings and then headed home after asking the model if i could take a photo from which to finish the piece. he obliged. all of this was painted with a #16 round cosmotop brush.