Friday, October 29, 2010
Brooke At Rest
This is from figure open session at the School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, Ca. (if you are in the area, you must come join me. $10 / session, nice people, steal my techniques.)
I remembered to take some shots along the way for your viewing pleasure. Please keep in mind these shots are taken with my phone, so the colors aren't so great. But you can still see the thought process, and there's a lot to be learned from that. I'm not saying you should learn anything from these. I'm saying I have a lot I can learn from retracing my steps this way. One of the great benefits of seeing a progression like this is that I can see where I made dumb moves and where I made smart ones, on purpose or other wise. And the next time I paint, I might avoid making the dumb moves, and I might be able to do the good moves on purpose.
I started this one with a massing approach. (as opposed to drawing with line). I didn't tone the canvas, because I knew I wanted the background to be fairly light. As you can see, it's very loose and general. I'm looking for general proportion relationship and gesture.
Here you can see the model seated on the stand.
Into this scrubbed-in mass, I drew in with a small brush, trying to find anatomy and smaller shapes. (relatively, that is. the shapes are still pretty big.)
And then I washed in a tone around the figure, so now I have a better sense of the figure-ground value relationship. I pulled out a few lights using paper towel wrapped around my finger, and hit some darkest dark notes.
Starting in with the colors. I began with the shadow side of the skin. I wanted to it be relatively high key. It's a mixture of blue, red, brown, and white.
Nearly all the shapes are blocked in with approximate colors, and the value structure is more or less working now. Looking back, I like the roughness of this stage the best.
After everything is blocked in and working in traditional representational sort of realm, I start messing around with abstraction for abstraction's sake. Softening some edges, sharpening others - not necessarily based on "rules of realism", but in less expected ways. I switch back and forth between representational thinking and pure abstract thinking. Often it's a big conflict between the two modes of thinking, but I've been putting more muscle behind the abstract side lately.
I had a momentary vision of Brooke sitting there in a leotard. So I altered her clothing. I can't make up clothes and render them convincingly if I were painting tighter, but a leotard is basically just a silhouette, so I can just suggest where the hems are.
In the end it got pretty messy but I liked it that way. I'm such a left-brained person, that anything this abstract feels like magic to me. Even though I did it, I can't figure out how I did it. It feels... not exactly foreign, unfamiliar in some sense, yet I can see a lot of my personality in it. It's like my subconscious spilled out. OOOooohhh I don't know if I want to go there. Haha~
Posted by Terry at 10:14 PM