|Trevor's tongue and golden complexion were a first for me in paint.|
Most everywhere I went this week I toted my camera. I've become a head hunter. My new project, a head a day painted in the Direct Painting method, Alla Prima. It's not enough to paint eight hundred plus squares of the colors derived from a palette limited to twelve colors, one must apply what they've learned to canvas. My subject of choice are untraditional facial expressions--no three quarter poses with a Mona Lisa smile and hands folded serenely on a lap. Candid shots are what I'm after. I like the challenge of smirks and teeth and frowns and laugh lines, the expressions life's moment provoke. Trevor's tongue caught my attention and, together with what I learned from Max's wipe out and Sharon's mugging, taught me a lot more about the Direct Painting Method and working oils wet-into-wet:
|This is the first time I've actually used my palette as I should|
have been using my palette: organized.
2) Wipe outs are to be expected when painting free-hand with no preliminary underpainting. I'm not Degas.
3) The smallest format I can use is eight by ten. Both Max and Trevor exceeded my original six by eight plan with one hearty brushstroke.
4) Big brushes, 1 inch, 1 1/2 inch, work best when laying in a painting directly. A more reasonable size support for those brush sizes would be twelve inches by sixteen inches, especially working from photographs. Measurements are facilitated printing reference photos in the 6 x 8 ratio.
5) Mineral Spirits and paper towels must be bought in bulk! Lint free cotton rags wipe canvases clean better than paper toweling. Ellis had better put a guard on his underwear drawer.
|JD came out of storage and is getting|
a work-over with a freer hand and a more educated eye.
7) The palette must be of ample size to mix up the right quantity of the primary colors in the color scheme. An eighteen inches by thirty to thirty six area would do nicely. It does not have to be glass.
8) The primary colors of the painting must be mixed in at least three gradations, but five would be better.
9) A small refrigerator is a smart addition to the studio for storing Alla Prima paintings and their palettes when the work goes longer than expected. The cold keeps the paint workable.
10) You must have a mahl stick. While details are minimalized in the Direct Painting, there is some close up work that requires a steady hand.
I hope you all are having as relaxing a holiday weekend as we are. There's no better way to pay tribute to the lives of the service people who gave their lives for their country than planting flowers. May they rest in peace and God bless their families.
MY FAVORITE AMERICAN FLAG PAINTING AND ITS PAINTER: CHILDE HASSAM
|Avenue in The Rain, 1917 by Childe Hassam, American Impressionist,|
born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1859. This painting hangs
where it should, in the Presidential Oval Office.