|First contour drawing in fifty years.|
Having taken no portrait painting classes with oils or any other medium--with the exception of a four day workshop last year, I downloaded Lustenhouwer's Portrait of A Boy video over the weekend. It's a two and a half hour tutorial. I watched thirty minutes and put it on pause. How he began his portraits by first photographing his subject, then projecting the image onto the canvas to draw it in using a red pencil immediately interested me who had always begun free hand using thin paint. I wanted to try it. I also wanted to mix the skin and hair tones the way he did--instead of feeling them out helter-skelter. I began today by taking a photo of myself, (my most accommodating live model), with my IPad. I didn't edit the photo; I left it as it was.
Then I did something I haven't done in a long time. I drew on
the 12 x 16" canvas using the contour style, since I do not own a projector or plan on buying one. Instead of using a red wax pencil, (graphite doesn't cover well at all said Lustenhouwer and I agree), I used a sienna pastel pencil so I had the luxury of erasing being new to contour after all these years. From here, I go on to solidifying the drawing with acrylics, burnt sienna of course, and laying in the darks and some mid tones. Then comes mixing the skin and hair tones, three neutral grays and a wishy-washy (my words), neutral color. Lustenhouwer mixed a mauve, about #4 on the gray scale. I agree that mauve is a handy no color color for transitions.
Lustenhouwer's method for arriving at the proper skin tones also intrigued me. He had a white sheet of card stock with a nice size square cut in the middle which he used to lay over the enlarged photograph to isolate the shade he wanted to match. He would mix and check out his progress on white strips cut from the same card stock. I prepared those tools today. Tomorrow, I'll be taking the time to mix all the tones at once, instead of intuiting them. Lustenhouwer estimated that getting the tones right takes an hour or more.
|Color tone sceening tool with strips of card stock for testing accuracy.|