Tuesday, May 8, 2012

True Colors



I just started this portrait of Three Men yesterday. Initially I made the mistake of starting the painting by drawing  with a charcoal pencil, but quickly thought I had made a mistake. I cleaned up the canvas and just went into it with yellow ocre and lots of mineral spirits--like in the old days--a large brush and a rag. I want this portrait rough--a range of thin to thick paint, runny washes to firm brush strokes--keep it loose and casual. Sap green, alzarin, burnt umbra, flake white--the absolutely right white for portraiture; it has no blue in it--cadmium yellow medium are all that's on the palette so far this second day of painting. Alternating between drawing and correcting is  my usual procedure.

This is Only Organic taken with no flash (ever)
in open shade with a SE exposure. It's pale, but
the colors are accurate.
The colors you see in this oil painting are true.  I spent the early morning working with my Konica Minolta digital applying different daylight exposures and bracketing between the default camera setting, portrait setting and landscape setting. The landscape setting produced  the best  first generation on both this oil and the following watercolor.  I photographed both paintings in open shade in SE daylight.  I chose these two paintings because they have radically different color schemes, yet the colors were reproduced accurately in both paintings.

In the computer, again using my favorite--my only available Jasc Picture Album Adjustment tool-- the following adjustments were made on each photograph: 1) Quick fix; 2)Color Stretch; 3) Less Exposure; 4)More Vividness; 5) Less sharpness; 6) More Exposure.  I chose the camera's landscape setting because of one sentence under the portraiture setting description in the manual--portraiture gives a nice "warm effect". That warm effect is exactly what I didn't like in the Steve photographs. For me, this procedure
seems to be it.   I am satisfied.




Using the procedure I described, this is Only Organic with accurate
coloration. I chose this painting because it had the primaries as well as
a variety of gray washes.


10 comments:

  1. Impressive, Lynn. A bit too technical for me; but I love your attitude ... 'Second Best Won't Do!'

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    1. What can I tell you? I'm a bull dog..a pit bull...I'm just plain dogged when in pursuit of something I think is important. Even though I had told my buyer, before I showed her the watercolor, she was not obligated to buy it, she might have felt obligated. She is a friend of mine. We do lunch often. Even though I wouldn't have minded her backing out at all, she might have felt that doing so would jeopardize our friendship. The situation was a sticky wicket. Fixing the photographic inaccuracy was important. I don't want that to happen again.

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    1. Thanks Jean. With this one I feel I can be myself and let go. I'm totally relaxed--and loving oils.

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  3. Hola linda, siempre aprendo de tus experimentos. Saludos :)

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    1. Experimenting Sonia is the path to almost perfect. LOL. Seriously, we really have to understand how our cameras work--and how our photograph adjustment programs work with our cameras to get the best out of both.

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  4. You went all the way Linda...I'm impressed ! And a question...why was it a mistake to draw with a charcoal pencil ? I know it is a frequent procedure , so I am curious about your idea :-)

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    1. First, a set drawing in charcoal or red pencil, would have ended up being too tight. I didn't want that. Second, charcoal needs to be fixed, if you don't want the paint tainted with the black dust. I don't like the way paint goes over fixative. So I erased the canvas, scrubbed it, let it dry thoroughly and picked up my brush and drew like I always did, with the paint thinned with a lot of mineral spirits. I learned to paint that way way back then. I always started with a monochromatic value study constantly making corrections.

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  5. Your "Three Men" is coming along well. Wow, do they ever look like you!
    And, my tenacious little terrier, you found a great way to get the true colors on the computer!! BIG KUDOS to you!!!

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    1. Well, we'll see. I really suspect that each painting might need a slightly different twist depending on the dominate colors. All I really learned was that my camera's landscape setting, got truer colors when the photo was transferred to computer.

      I'm having a good time with it. But I'm waiting for one of my guys to balk at being pictured on the blog as I get closer to achieving a likeness.

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