Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Map For The Color To Come

Add white to burnt umbra and you lose the warmth.


Just like there's no crying in baseball. There's no lines in painting. There are shapes--at least that's what is seared into the right side of my brain. I'm having difficulty ignoring that fact as I work on the monochrome.  The grid (contour) drawing took considerable time, but I'm wondering why did I need so many lines, so many reference points? They do act as a guide, but I find myself still using my eye as I work off the reference photo and correcting shapes in spite of the lines, which are disconcerting.

I chain-mixed five values of burnt umbra and white on my palette, but I'm actually mixing more values on the canvas, as I've always done. Edges are getting considerable attention--probably due to the lines which were all hard edge? One thing is certain:   The monochrome will make an excellent guide when I get down to color. Carefully considering the values is the value of this exercise. I'll probably want to do more monochromes in the future. Colorless, they are a map for the color to come.


12 comments:

  1. You are right about the difference between seeing lines and shapes, but I have found that in the beginning it is a hard concept for some to grasp. Funny, because they do see it in the light and shadow patterns.
    We have been doing a value only underpainting in black and white at the guild and everyone has really liked the results of that stage and hated to paint over it.
    Some have even done another one so they can keep the original. Matching the values with color can be tricky but definitely
    invaluable.
    Your painting at this stage is a perfect example of why Richard Schmid points out that adding white cools any color.
    I have the guild members watching your posts and reading your remarks on the big screen in the classroom.
    They have been very interested. Thank you for the time you are putting into this.
    PS.
    "No crying in Baseball" I remember Tom Hanks with that line in the movie, A league of Their Own, and still laugh.

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    1. After missing class last week and proceeding on my own, I went to class today to find out what I had done wrong. My too slippery wash was due to me not adding enough paint to the painting medium of one part linseed oil to two parts mineral spirits. I countered with, " I've never washed a canvas using painting medium. I thought perhaps I should have used just mineral spirits as I've always done" Todd said no. Never just mineral spirits. That piece of information was totally new to me. I then told him I was painting with the paints right out of the tube, because adding painting medium gave me no coverage. He approved and went on to discuss my edges, which needed softening, which I knew. It was then that I clarified my thinking. "So this monochrome has to be a finely finished painting, before I get into color?" "Yes," he said. " That means I probably will not finish this painting this semester?" "Yes, " he said. I then spent the three hours working on the edge between the back of my head and the drapes. This is a very slow process, but I am loving it's precision. I needed an intense experience with reading values; this class is it.
      Meanwhile I met Walter who lives in the subdivision across the road. He and I talked about getting together to paint over the winter. The other reason I took this class was to hook up with other serious artists. It seems I have. I'm thinking figurative drawing sessions with Walter. I am sick of using myself and photos. I'll see how that goes.

      This class on the Venetian Technique is not a three hour class. I should have taken the afternoon class as well. It's difficult to get your stuff there, set up and paint and pack it all up two and a half hours later. Better to stay the day.

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  2. This process is so painstaking. You have the chops to do it.
    No- you don't strike me as a lines kind of gal, yet you are finding the value in this practice.
    Your painting is so realistic- it's amazing what you are accomplishing.
    I can see that you will take what you learn here and move on into your own thing... as it should be.
    Well done!

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  3. And by the way... you are a beautiful woman. I love the reflective quality of your pose here.

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    1. Thanks Pam. Oddly enough, lines aside, I am liking this process. I woke up this morning thinking Painting? Rendering? The differences between the two seem to be lines, how you hold the brush and time. When painting, I hold the brush at the end of the long handle. Doing this, I hold it like I would a pencil. There are no flamboyant brushstrokes. There is only smooth blendings done wet-into-wet small areas at a time. I spent the three hours of class time yesterday painting one edge as it divided hair from drapes. When Ellis asked me what I did in school today, I had nothing to pin up on the refrigerator. :-))

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  4. Good going girl! I really wish I was with you, it is proving to be very valuable experience. And Walter sounds a good find too!

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    1. The discipline is valuable. Thanks Sharon. The hardest part is getting my stuff to the classroom and home. Most of the 'kids,' (everybody is middle age or older), are there for six hours. I think they have the right idea, but I can't stand on cement for that amount of time; my knees rebel. I can't paint seated either; it's unnatural. So every week, I plan to check in for three hours for Todd's critique and then do most of the work in my studio.

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  5. I would love to see what you would come up with if you closed your eyes. That would be a fun post!

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    1. JJ, this pose is going to be with me for a while. I am in it now! This is an enlightening endeavor. I am very pleased I took it on. The value is in the values. My year of art education is stimulating, energizing and totally consuming. It wouldn't have happened, if I didn't admit to myself, I really knew very little about painting. Sculpture, yes. Drawing, yes. But paint and brushes were toys to be played with when I felt like it. Now, these are tools. BB King and I are having a ball. :-))

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  6. Well it is phenomenal so far!! I just saw a video of a demonstration that kind of blew my mind. Probably not the same technique but he does go from darks to lights in a portrait. It is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zjLhFHVDXo (Sean Cheetham painting a portrait).

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    1. In oils, going from dark to light is the traditional way of it. Going from light to dark is the way with watercolors.

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  7. It is a long time since I commented, but I regularly visit your blog. Interesting to see your process of this painting, Linda, it is looking great. Love the sketches in the dark!

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