Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just some thoughts about color

I talked to my old classmate today and we talked about the school and if i was happy now after three years.

It got me thinking back to the time i had at the pre-art school i went to before.
What i really enjoyed about painting was to explore things.
Be it some kind of light phenomena  or something. But it was always in a very enthusiastic and scientific way. I wanted to learn and figure out what i saw in nature.
After three years at the school and the last year of painting still life and the model.
I started to feel i wasn't learning anything anymore. It was just another still life or just another model. My problem with the figure i realized was the limited palette of mainly 2 colors in the red family. (burnt umber+red umber)
I wanted to paint what i saw. And what i saw was yellows and greens.. and red of course. So today I went ahead and put some yellow ochre pale on my palette. And everything was great. I was having fun again.

I understand however the benefit of using a limited palette. Especially in a school situation.
I also understand that with color everything is relative.
Let me explain. We have on our palette, burnt umber, red umber, venetian red, black, white.
Shadows = burnt umber
Dark halftones = burnt umber/red umber mixture
Light half tones = red umber/burnt umber mixture
Red accents = venetian red

So when you use venetian red in the knees, feet, hands, and head. The red umber will look quite yellow in comparison. So as a whole the lights reads as quite yellow.
Also red umber looks quite red straight out of the tube but does change towards orange/yellow when adding white.

If you however add yellow ochre on your canvas. The red umber would look red.
Anyway. I think that with yellow ochre I could achieve a more accurate representation of what I saw.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Still life update

Drawing stage completed.
Its important to get the proportions right.
But details doesn't matter, they will disappear anyway when putting on color, so its a waste of time.
Also the perishables will be replaced when its time to paint them, a week from now.
So when drawing them I just tried to think about the overall design but not being very particular with articulation.

This is the 2nd stage called dead coloring.
It is one flat color for the lights and one for the darks.
The reason for this stage is that you want to fill the whole canvas with color and values so that you can start doing qualified decisions later in the painting process.
I did also model the pot instead of just putting one flat color. Just makes it easier, jumping a step.
I painted a high chroma mixture for the onions. It's easier to darken and lower the chroma later, than raising it.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Start of a still life

So i'm starting a new still life, which will be my last at Angel Academy of Art.
I thought I would share the process. 

The rules for this still life was that the background needs to be a relief, it cant be flat.
There should be some perishables.
And at least one man made object. 

To start off I decided to go with a brick wall background.
First I found some bricks outside that were nice and rugged.
But I didn't have enough of them so I bought some new ones.
I then had to make them look as rugged as the first ones. 
And then I had to paint them darker.
Having darker objects in the back and lighter objects in the front will help with the illusion of space. 

And here is the finished wall.
After I setup the background I started to think about what kind of man made object I wanted.
Since the wall is rugged and a bit old looking I needed another similar object.
So I got to borrow this old pot on the right.
I also got a smaller pot which is new, but I will paint it to make it fit in.
After that I went to Coop and bought lots of perishables.
Then it was just a matter of trying out different compositions,
taking photographs of all the different ones, and then decide which one I like the best.

And this is the final setup. On the right I have a canvas which is a bit too big but that's ok, I will crop it later. Also it has a base layer (campitura)  with titanium white+burnt umber.
There is one more step which is to cast a shadow on the background, I will post another picture of that later