Monday, December 7, 2009

Progress on new piece, Day IV

9:08 AM - the state I'd left it in on Friday.

2:36 PM - a hour or so after Adele left.  I first thought about what direction I wanted the color to go in.  Then hands are still purpler than the rest of the body, so I have to bring them closer together.  I did that by beginning to work on the legs, adding some green, some purple, trying to get the form to look realistic.  Also, since the canvas was mostly dry, I could go into the shadows and make them darker.  That was the very first thing I did - work on darkening her breasts and belly as well as the chair parts.  The front left leg of the chair is the wrong size.  I'll have to fix that when I re-do the background.

4:09 PM - LOTS of work on the legs creating volume and warmth and tones and shadows.  I like the shadow her knee is throwing on her right foot.  I'm also liking the legs a lot.  The colors are working better together, though I don't feel close to done yet!

4:41 PM - refining the feet, the toes, the legs, creating highlights on the legs.  It's taking more layers of white than I expected it to to make that happen!

5:01 PM - my friend Lynda called to see about our walk (we go for a walk every Monday if at all possible).  I told her I needed a few minutes to take care of the paint I'd just smeared on the canvas because I couldn't leave it like that!  In a quick 3-4 minutes I smoothed out the shadow on the arm, added paint to the hair, refined her upper left arm and wished I didn't have to go ( and was really glad to get the exercise after holding myself tense to paint all day!)

5:04 PM - the last few strokes added highlights to the legs, smoothed the arms more.  Next time I'll work on her arms in detail then will move on to the face.  The last thing I imagine I'll do is re-paint the background to refine the edges and to get rid of the "halo" around the bottom and foot where I had to correct the shapes a while ago.

As I look at the piece now, it looks so monochromatic!  It looks like I use Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, and white in varying proportions to get my flesh tones, but nothing could be further from the truth!  I do use those, but here's a picture of part of my palette.  There's Cad Yellow Medium, Veridian Green, Dioxinine Purple, Copper, some other green whose name is alluding me, Quinacridone Magenta, Cad Red, and saeveral other colors.  I am trying to have the colors be as complex as they would be in real life and that takes lots of layers and color combinations.  So far I think I have 10 or so layers on the legs, more on the hands and feet.  This is a much more complex piece than I had realized!  But a very good one!  I'm learning a lot from all the challenges.

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