Monday, March 22, 2010

Painting in Progress Part III

In this part, I am starting to pull things together. Additional ivy has been added near the base of the column and the decorative element below. I don't consider it complete yet, I may add more leaves and try to build up the density of growth at the lower left. For this round, I've added lighter colour leaves over some of the darker background leaves. I also worked in the some of the darker green into the stone behind the leaves. Click on any image to enlarge.

In the picture above, you can also see the additional glazes of vermilion red, permanent alizarin crimson in the lower skirt. Some of the red and crimson is mixed together. The lighter part of the skirt is drybrushed. The idea is the lighter colour is a different texture than the horizontal darker fabric near the bottom of the skirt.

In the picture below, you can see where I have started to glaze a mix of raw sienna and yellow ochre into the model's hair. The hue deepens with addition of the glaze. The strands of hair drawn in coloured pencil is still visible through the glaze. The work I had done on the skirt has also been done to the tunic. The shadows are a bit exaggerated so I don't lose them as I build up the rest of the colour. At this point, I've done nothing yet to the skin tones on the face or hands other than what was originally put down in coloured pencil.
The picture below is a close up showing the glazes in the hair and the original coloured pencil rendering of the face. I like it, except that now that everything else has been built up to a certain level leaving an area only in coloured pencil seems weak compared to the rest of the painting. I'm now treating the original pencil work as an underpainting to the acrylic that will be applied over it.

In the final picture for this segment is the model's face with the first bit of paint over the coloured pencil. At this stage, I'm not happy with it at all. This is where my colour blindness rears its exasperating head. The initial mix is titanium white, yellow ochre, burnt sienna with the tiniest amount of cadmium red. Cadmium has extremely strong tinting powers. Even the tiniest amount I had used was probably still too much.

As I work more on the face, the goal is to first get the colour mix under control with the idea of getting it as close as possible to the model's actual skin tones. The coloured pencil actually did that quite nicely. The more challenging problem is to do that with the paint because when I am finished I want to be sure that the viewer is drawn towards the model's face. At the time of this writing, I have not yet attempted to work another layer of colour pencil over the paint. If I like the results of that, I'll use the pencil to smooth and blend the face. If not, I will continue adjusting the mix until I get it right. In order to achieve that, I will test out the mixes on a separate piece of watercolour paper and hold them next to the face to avoid the risk of overworking.

The next entry will focus entirely on her face.

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