Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 2 - Redrawing the Painting

I exercised yesterday so I woke up late today, and arrived just in time for the long break. My fault, totally, so I had to make up for lost time. (I make waking up MUCH harder than it has to be!)

Well, I started mixing colors right away, trying to get the shadows right. I started out with Alizarin, Ultramarine, Veridian, and lead White like last time, but it wasn't happening. Her skin seems peach to me today with green/greys and I was mixing like a hue of mauve or something. I tried some on and it kept getting muddier. I noticed that when I got the color mixed so-so I hadn't mixed enough quantity of paint. Since I'm not using a medium for now, I was out of luck. I tried to extend my brushstrokes and the paint but it gave it an elementary, "paint by numbers" sort of feel. By the time I was done with my first pose I was getting a bit down. It was muddy, and had every sense of getting muddier.

After the next break I took a step back; Somewhere in between looking at the beautiful works coming along around me I had to somehow make something happen with mine. So when I stepped to the canvas, I just took my trusty #4 bright signet brush, and with Ivory Black I started redrawing the painting.

It soon started to come to life :) I noticed that I could shape her features more, and I was forced to notice where my painting was deviating from the subject. I remember learning last year with my Swiss buddy Mark that the smallest line can make the biggest difference. Once I saw this rule in effect again my painting started coming back to me.

With that simple idea of going back to the drawing I got her likeness a lot truer to life. And guess what, that's what MCK says she always does -- "I always go back to the drawing every time I start the painting again." Well I'm happy to see that I found my way into getting this lesson into my understanding of painting.

In the picture above the "drawing" is indicated by the black lines. It helps define areas and make clear what needs work. After all that, the highlights on her shoulder look ok, she looks a bit more in proportion, and I think you can tell she's crossing her arms more.

Once I get the lights on her skin I think that'll help me with the shadows, perhaps I'll start there tomorrow. On the elevator ride down I was talking to one of my classmates and we agreed that from one pose to the next you can be ready to push your painting forward or be ready to set it on fire.

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