Monday, April 12, 2010

A new piece underway

Chris is such a wonderful husband!  This weekend he took the time to build me two more canvases so I can keep working at a breakneck speed simply because there are so many images wanting to come out of me! 

His working on the canvases gave me time to finish our taxes - an exceedingly unpleasant task primarily because we were not disciplined this year and didn't pay quarterly taxes so we owe way too much money.  A friend of Facebook joked that the alternative unavoidable option might be more fun - death!  Well, I don't want to die quite yet, but I sure don't like doing taxes either!

At any rate, Sat and Sun mornings I got up early and rushed out to the studio to get to work on my current canvas.  I had put on the background about a week ago but hadn't had time to mix the paint and really delve into the canvas.  I had that time Sat finally.  The picture on the right is the stage I'm at this morning.  I'm very excited about the skin tones so far as well as about the lumnescient background. 

Before starting this canvas, I separated my paints into opaques, semi-transparents, and transparents so that I could work only in transparents on this canvas.  Here's what that means - paints have different levels of opacity.  If you paint only with opaque paints, anything you put on the canvas covers up anything else that's under it pretty much completely - or it'll blend with it if the paint is still dry.  If you use transparent paints on top of other paints, the lower layer(s) will shine through.  I think that's how the Old Masters painted and what helped them get such lustrous finishes.  My teacher Thomas Bosket taught me about this two years ago, but I haven't used the process before because I was too busy simply learning how to spread the paint effectively across the canvas.  This time I'm trying to work more conscienciously to see what happens. 

So far what I'm noticing is that I'm able to make more realistic skin tones - partially because of the hues (colors) I'm choosing, but also the way I'm applying them. 

I first put an opaque vermillion - what an intense incredible color!!- onto the background, then put a darker alizaron crimson mixed with dioxinine purple over it.  That created a wonderful glow with the red showing through but not quite.  I didn't blend the top layer perfectly so there's a lot of movement in the background, making it more interesting.

OK, enough blabber - time for me to get back to it!  I'll put up another picture at the end of the day today if there's progress worth showing.

In the meantime - it's back to the easel!



    I thought you might find this interesting after the "landing strip" question. I'd be interested to hear (read) your thoughts on hair as well.