Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Palette Selection? The Subject Dictates Not Some Artist Long Dead

Free hand draw-in of Ruby for palette selection.
A sketch painted for an afternoon of color play.  I had a palette of reds in  mind and wanted to test it out.  I used Burnt Sienna for this five minute starter sketch.  It's livelier than Burnt Umbra and an old time favorite of mine.  No likeness was required. I have no doubt that the short amount of time it took me to get a reasonably drawing  for this experiment was a result  of my thirty minute morning free hand drawing sessions.

Likeness was not the goal of this exercise, putting together a palette was.  
At the end of the day, Lemon Yellow; Cad Yel Med, Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Med, TRO, Quinacrodone Violet and Ultramarine blue were on the glass.  I've tried the various limited palettes other artists use, but I have never found that the subject I was painting was compatible; my subjects and their world dictate my palette. These colors belong to Ruby.

Mr. Henry Kissinger or Mr. Spencer Tracy? One sketch leads to another. 

NOTE:  Mechanical leads of the same softness as a Berol/General  pencil leave a lighter mark no matter how hard you press.  Berol leads give a darker dark, but also leave a grainy effect--suitable for older skin. It could be the nature of the leads--or the texture of the Strathmore Drawing paper?  Just something I noticed over the last weeks.  I liked the effect for Mr. Kissinger. I didn't for the younger people I've sketched.  

10 comments:

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    1. Me too! The last color I pulled was Lemon Yellow for the light side of the background, I think the green in it will stir up the reds and impart the coolness of the natural light coming in from that side? I'll trial and error again today. I do not do wet-into-wet well with oils; I'm still too heavy handed. That's left over from my work with acrylics. Old dog no doubt.

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  2. I agree - great reds and a really good idea to experiment with your palette before jumping in.I find that the subject does indeed dictate the color used, even though I do have my favorites. And really wonderful sketch of Henry - the likeness is superb. He seems to be caught in a moment of explaining something of deep intensity. That being said, I can't find a single thing in this post to describe as "interesting"! :)

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    1. I thought it was interesting how the two leads behaved this morning. You'd think a 6B would be a 6B. Red is the color for this painting. Her hair is red. Her shirt is rosy red. I keep thinking Matisse.

      I chose an older reference to use--I thought maybe someone would remember the guy. But he is a few erasures away from Spenser Tracy in Inherit The Wind.

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  3. Good colour choices. I keep thinking the drawings are of Ellis! Sorry, especially as I have only had glances of him as he skips by.

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    1. free wheeling was fun. I might try that again sometime. Henry has plenty of hair. Ellis's hair is considerably thinner.

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  4. I know it is a matter of taste, but I prefer the new sketchy one. It has a great vibe.

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    1. Everyone loves the looseness of the gestural style. The initial draw-in is precise! but doesn't mean the finish has to be precise, just that the portrait is a good likeness. I'll see when I try it. I've already started a gestural finish with the tonal wash. The precise draw-in guarantees a likeness and a minimum of loose brushstrokes--hopefully. Time will tell with this experiment combining two different starts.

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  5. I knew it was Henry Kissinger before reading it....you nailed it Linda!!! and love your morning drawing session..perfect pose and wonderful colors.

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    1. I did nail him. Thank you. For a while there I didn't think I would. The likeness was in the drag to the mouth. Funny what separates Kissinger from Tracy. One line aptly placed.

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