Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ted nuttall/la crosse workshop: day#2

another great day here in la crosse....mid 70's, partly cloudy, and dry. we started the day with our usual lecture/talk/discussion from ted. he mainly talked about painting the features on the face and painting the hands. in terms of the later, one must pay attention to the actual shape of the fingers...not just sausages but usually a group of angled straight lines. the hands can be as expressive as the face so we must take care in their rendering. each feature on the face should be painted as if it were a miniature abstract painting in its own right. this means a variety of shapes, edges, colors and values. if one were to take a macro shot of the eye, for example, it should look like a miniature abstract painting.

the demo today consisted of ted showing how he painted on a single hue flat wash over the background and the difference that made, in covering up all that white paper, to the figure. basically the life of the wash lies in the bead of watery paint on the bottom. each subsequent stroke should just  abut and pick up that bead and move on down and across the paper. to show us, he put in a light value manganese blue wash.

then he demo'd the technique where he painted a single large shadow area on the figure's face by painting a number of small pieces of it starting at the top near the forehead and working down. the bottom of each "swatch" needs to be carefully tapered off to facilitate the blending of the subsequent "swatch." each swatch had a red and a yellow (or orange) but these varied from one to another. one might be scarlet lake and brilliant orange while the next might be vermillion and winsor yellow, an so forth. each of these was perhaps 1.5 to 2 inches square.

if he was a bit in a quandary as to a next big step he might but in a small darker detail just to judge the value of it and the rest of the features of the painting. to that end he put in a darker value behind the figure on both sides of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna (or umber).

in the afternoon after breaking for a bout a 75 minute lunch we each worked on our individual paintings. today brought on some frustration and ted spent a lot of time with people to try to help straighten out things and explain how to make them "right." as one can imagine this was pretty labor-intensive and he didn't quite get around to everyone before we needed to stop for the day. ted looked tired and we all trundled off to a well earned evening of rest and eats and , i am sure, a bit of libation. here is where i was at the end of the afternoon and at one intermediary step.

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