“Carving back”

“Carving back”

This little boy’s face had grown too long, so I needed to do what I call, “carving back,” meaning using the background or adjacent color to reduce the mass of the face. (Or nose, or hand, or whatever – everything tends to grow in paintings.)

This first image shows the older boy’s face at the end of a vigorous session – note the length of his lower face, from bottom lip to chin:

The next photo shows his face after I’ve carved away at it, reshaped it using the adjacent colors. you’ll notice that this also takes years off his face – the longer face looked much older:

The lesson? Nothing is straightforward. There is no formula, there is no ONE way to do things, there is no step-by-step method that is going to give you the results you want. And you will NEVER get the results you want if you can’t accept that.

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