A baaaaaad case of the uglies…
With apologies to my subject, who shall remain nameless (she hasn’t figured it out yet, or if she has she’s not talking’) girl, you need some work done on your face!
My day at the studio was shorter than I’d planned, but I did manage to figure out the color palette for the lounge chair. I’m definitely beefing up the chroma in this series because I want the colors to really sizzle (chroma is another term for saturation or intensity, and is one of the three primary characteristics of color. The other two color characteristics of color are value and hue, which I’ll discuss in a later post).
You know how in bright sunny places people often paint their houses bright colors? I’ve always heard that the reason is because paler colors tend to get lost in the bright surroundings, and since these paintings are intended to represent bright and sunny places I want the colors to be vivid and bright as well.
I painted some of the lightest areas of the chair, just to see how the blues I’ve chosen will go with the flesh tones – there will definitely be a variety of blues, greens, and turquoises in that chair to represent the varieties of light and shadows that are present.
The paint on the flash areas I painted yesterday was a bit too tacky to work in today, so I moved to the face.
(Note: While you can work on already-painted areas when they’re tacky it requires using enough medium in your paint to re-moisten the previous layer. Since I want thick, juicy paint, I’d prefer to let those areas dry a while longer so that I can paint without medium. If you paint without medium over a tacky surface it can get slick and you loose the surface “tooth” that grabs the paint and holds it in place.)
As often happens at this stage in my paintings the face needed to be redrawn. This is where measuring proportions is crucial to me. I use the old holding a paintbrush at the end of my arm technique to measure the relative sizes of various parts of the body, to ensure everything is in the correct proportion. (There’s a nice short article on how to measure using a paintbrush here.)
Yeah, I had squished her face down to almost two-thirds of its correct size, so working form the chin up I re-measured everything and made rough brush marks to build a roadmap for reference.
To remind you, here’s where I was with the face when I left the studio yesterday:
And here is our subject after measuring and building a roadmap:
Lovely, isn’t she?
This might look like a hot mess to the rest of you but to me she is a thing of, well, perhaps not beauty but she does have all her streets and highways identified, as well as elevation gains and losses.
You’ll just have to trust me on this.
Later in the day she got a little easier to look at…
At least now she has a discernible mouth and nose, and the width of her face relates to its height correctly.
By the time I decided to move on she had achieved this state, ready for the next assault…er…painting session.
A fun challenge for me is going to be figuring out how to show the portion of her face that is deep in shadow. Those teeth are going to drive be bat-poop crazy at some point, too.
Once I got to this point I felt I had the face blocked in enough to let her dry a bit, so I moved to dessert, next.
And boy was it good!
Aloha, and have a great weekend!