Thursday, September 26, 2013

continuation of new, as yet untitled, painting

i showed the beginnings of this painting a couple of posts ago. the inspiration for this painting comes from one of steve evans' great photos of a young man hanging off of a wagon. i am deeply appreciative of steve allowing use of his photos for these purposes.

intial washes and features
in the previous photo i had just put down some initial washes and worked a bit on the eyes. on subsequent steps i continued work on his features and the large shadow making up the planes of his face. as in other paintings i have done of non-cuacasians i have used the same colors that i use in caucasian skin only in different proportions so that the overall color is a warmish brown and the value deeper. up until now i have avoided using "brown" out of the tube such as burnt umber or burnt sienna.   i chose instead to make the color with glazes of complements going from warm to cool in subsequent applications. so, if i put down raw sienna on one coat i will put down mineral violet on the next. vermillion on one then hooker's green on the next. this always trying to make sure that the over all color is warm over the center of the face. i will at times allow cool to enter over the temples or forehead as those structures often are cooler than the rest of the face.

a little more detail and darkening background
with cool skin tones
after this step i decided that the face was too cool so i put a glaze of raw sienna and then brilliant orange over the whole thing except the sclerae. this looked better to me. as i moved forward on the face and figure i tried to keep his apparel (hat/shirt) moving in a forward direction as well. initially i put down a wash of manganese blue graded to ultramarine blue on his shirt and a wash of alizarin crimson dulled with a touch of hooker's green on his cap.

additionally, i worked some on the background with the somewhat abstract dark behind the figure trying to keep the colors varied and interesting but not so much that it will compete with the face. i also am trying to tie the figure into the background along the shadow side by having a change in color when moving from one to another but maintaining the same relative value.

warming things up and more detail
one of the things that i learned (relearned?) at the jozwiak/nelson workshop was that "design" was as important or perhaps more important than "composition". charles reid has often said when asked about the compositional feature "center of interest" that he didn't understand the concept fully in terms of what the intent was. he has said that the concept of center of interest meant to him that the rest of the painting should be  less interesting

or uninteresting........a concept he rejected. instead he preferred to fill his paintings with warm next to cool, dark next to light, lost near found edges....all over the painting. this i think is the concept of design.

face starting to come together and darks in clothing, etc.
with that in mind i started putting in some darks around the face (not really on the face) in the clothing and a little in the background. that is depicted in the last photo. also in the last photo i am starting to bring the skin tone to the final temperature and color.....a rich, warm, milk chocolate brown over the shadow areas. with the multiple thin transparent glazes these areas just glow with a depth only accomplished by this technique (i'm not sure it really shows up in the photos but irl it is striking).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"a handful of posey" : finished.....i think

i worked a little on the painting of our grand daughter nalah yesterday morning. there were some niggling little things that were bothering me about it. i had these doubts in the jozwiak/nelson workshop and put this little painting up for a critique. i got some good feed back and decided to act on it.

the first thing was that her face is just too warm. this i knew going in as i hadn't cooled it off with dilute (really dilute!)  glazes of ultramarine blue as i often will with caucasian skin. so i added a couple glazes and i am happy with the color temperature now. this trick of glazing with the ultramarine blue rarely changes the value much but really does cool down the area and, if in the right place, makes it recede.

the second thing was that that her jacket was a bit drab and the manganese blue in the upper background looked a bit lonely. i thought i could remedy both of those with some addition of manganese blue to her jacket. done!

"a handful of posey" (11"X11")
i thought the dandelions needed a little more color so i put some streaks of cadmium yellow medium over the upper flowers. with the large dark area below the flowers being separated by a more definite transition than i wanted, that area competed with the face more than i desired. first i tried losing some of the inferior edges.....not quite there. then i decided that i could make the whole thing smaller. so i cropped much of it off. so, now the painting is about square, which i find interesting and makes it unusual, and i like it much better.

leave a comment if you like....good or bad.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

just some odds and ends from the last few weeks

i have been working on some paintings off and on over course of our travels around the west. of course, i also painted a lot during the workshop with bev and vickie. without a lot of fan fare here are the results of the last few weeks. some are finished and some are not.
"a hand full of poseys" not quite finished

"quiet time before the ride" finished (15"X11")

untitled as of yet and just started

"these here cherries is mine" finished (15"X20)

finished...can't remember the exact title (15"X8")

"suka, always ready for play" as finished as its gonna be (15"X11")

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

beginnings: prejudice and pride

stage #1
stage #2
i have painted a portrait of sitting bull before and in fact was my first sale. i have wanted to do another. there are so many great archival photos of him that are in the public domain. i had a piece of 300# paper that was really a scrap left over from another drawing i did for the workshop with bev jozwiak starting next week. not wanting to waste it (the scrap) i searched for a subject that might fit the shape. the iconic photo of sitting bull seemed to fit the bill. so i drew it out and started in. the composition will be a challenge to make it work with the problems that i have set up for myself. the more i thought about this i decided to do it as sort of a diptych with a corresponding painting of the same size and shape of our good friend george armstrong custer in one of his humbler poses. right now i am thinking of float mounting both with exposed deckle edges in a single double cut matt. the whole thing would be roughly 21" square with the paintings about 15"X6" each. we'll see.

stage #3
here are the stages to date on the sitting bull painting. i am not sure i like the "solution" to the the composition problem yet. it is still light enough in value that i can obscure or lift it out if in the final analysis it was a bad idea. it may be something more organic and amorphous might be better rather than this geometric "headband" sort of thing.