Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Figure Painting

There are some people who learn things the easy way. I am not one of those. If there is a hard way to do something I am guaranteed to discover it. This 9"x12" canvas was done over the course of seven, three hour poses. When I started the picture I had always planned to do a drawing and then transfer it to a canvas. So why did I decide to do a half length figure on 18"x24" paper, that took me four sessions to complete? See above. When I realized that there was no way I was going to come anywhere near completing a painting that size I decided to photoshop it down and use a smaller canvas. It was still going to be close. I didn't really care if I finished it or not, I wanted to learn things, not paint a pretty painting. Today when I got to the session I had the head and right shoulder painted in and that was it. I decided to go for broke and paint like someone was holding a gun to my head saying "finish or else". Why, I don't really know, I had a feeling that I would get more out of it even if the rest of the painting was only roughed in, at least I would be dealing with the figure in it's totality. Some things made it a little easier. One was that I pre- mixed and tubed a flesh string, three darks and three lights. Ideally, I should have mixed the string while looking at the model but there wasn't going to be time for that. I used a Jacob Collins painting of "Carolina" that was in Classical Painting Atelier, kind of like a Munsell scale. I mixed the colors and matched them to the reproduction. I thought that the painting had a similar skin color and lighting to the one that I was working on. I kept the palette limited to Zorn's of Flake white, Cad Red Light, Yellow Ochre, and Ivory Black. I used raw umber and ochre for some of the half tones. I'm glad that I still have a lot left because I plan to use it at my figure drawing groups sessions.All in all, it was a lot of fun and the Long Island Academy of Fine art is a great place to paint and learn.

No comments: