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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fall out from class

Oh, tonight a fun time was had by all. Mark was on a roll. I couldn't tell if he was just so fed up with us or what, but he sure clarified some things in my mind. The first thing that really clicked in for me was when he gave us a "test." A test I failed. But once I realized what he was getting at, made so much sense; and that is this: If you are painting a form in the light and you want to show that form, but to keep the light as light, yet read as form, to keep the values within the shape the same, but transition with a shift in temperature - it a variation of the concept that Kevin has us working on in this month's gradation exercise. For example: in the skin tone, the brightest color in the studio classroom at the top end of the spectrum might be a cad red mixed with cad yellow light, the next step down would be cad red mixed with cad yellow; then cad red with yellow ochre; alizerin crimson with yellow ochre to a purpley mix or a terra rosa with yellow ochre. Never changing the VALUE, just the color. Amazingly, he said I was on the right track with that at the end of class. His comment was that I was not being bold enough with my shadows and my background color. The other thing which I really must make the time to do is color charts; he is right that they do save you time in the long run, and adding colors to my palatte that I am not used to using (like Terra Rosa) it would be beneficial. The last thing, which really was the first of the evening, was that if I ever want to be a portrait painter, which I told him I am not interested in being AT ALL, was to paint the portrait from where I judge the relationships not necessarily from where I am standing at my easel. For instance, my background being as light in value as I had made it was actually correct from where I was standing, but not when I stepped back to compare my color relationships. that is why the master portrait painters held a palette with a thumb hole as they would mix the color from afar and then go apply it. Pat brought up paradoxes when we were sitting around talking, and this is one of those paradoxes for me. He says to set up as close to the model as you possible can so you can see what it is you are painting, but to then "paint" it from afar. I do get that if a painting doesn't read well from a distance it doesn't matter how well it reads up close as most people don't get up close unless the painting draws them in. that in itself is helping me to exaggerate relationships of color and value even if I am still a bit timid in the application of it.


Travelingrant said...

I would never have thought about painting from 'afar' like that, but it makes sense. A difficult skill to use! Good luck with the class, and I can't wait to see the next result in the flesh.

Aloha Sistah said...

Although portrait painting is not something you've ever devoted yourself to, some of my personal favorites in your large body of work have been people. Maybe your technique was not as advanced when you painted "Asleep With a Good Book," but your love for your subject gave it its lifeblood.

victoriasart said...

you are right - and though I don't want to be known as a "portrait" painter, I do still want to incorporate the figure into my work more; I am forcing myself to paint the head more in class simply because it is the hardest thing for me to do. I love painting the body of the figure, but not the face. I find I get too hung up on trying to make it look like the person (details) and I want to capture the essence without such painstaking attention to things that ultimately don't add anything, and usually detract.