Thursday, July 12, 2007

Watch the Artist, Part Five - Sunburn!!

Oops, I accidentally gave him a sunburn. I'm sure several of you are laughing at me. After all the big talk I made about not mixing skin tones too red or too pink, here I go and blister this guy. Don't worry, it'll be okay. I'll fix it.

Here's where we are. This is the "dry-brushing" stage. I hadn't intended to be at this stage right now. But, as experienced artists will tell you, you have to go where the artwork takes you. It seems to me that there comes a point in a piece of artwork where it almost takes on a life of it's own. After that, its a mistake to force the thing into being something its not. If you've planned well and have established a well balanced composition and have included solid principles of design, then it'll probably end okay.

I had intended to intensify the shadow edge of the figure. Remember, the shadows were originally painted with a low intensity cool steel gray. It was great for the color scheme but really didn't do much to model the shapes of the form. So, I used a dark burnt umber to intensify the shadow edge. That was working okay. What remained of the steel gray worked perfectly as a reflected light in the shadow. But, I began to notice the burnt umber was to harsh and overpowering for the colors and values I'd used up until this point. I also felt as if the figure was a little too yellow and lifeless looking especially because the blue background served as a complementary color to the yellow in the skin tone and projected it stronger than it should be. So, what to do? Time to add a little color to the skin. I added just a touch of cad red to the skin mixture I was using. I loved the way it looked on the face. So, I kept going. I'm afraid I went a little overboard with it because I liked it so much.

We're nearing the end now. We only have two or three steps left. I'll probably finish one more of them this afternoon. Next is to go back to the more neutral and lighter skin tone and blend the edges of the colors. Then I'll go with almost pure white, possibly titanium white now, and add highlights. I'll probably varnish it again at that point to lock down what I've done. Then, the final step will be to use colored pencil work to detail the face and finish the background.

I'm also going to redo that tile floor he's standing on. I thought putting brown down there would tie into the brown on the figure. Big mistake. I hate the way that looks. I want that to be more bluish so it doesn't detract from the figure. Remember, cools recede, warms advance. That warm yellow on the floor jumps out and takes attention from the figure. Gotta stop that.

1 comment:

Rudy said...

I love watching this piece evolve step by step and reading the decision making process. What you said about each work having a life of its own and dictating to the artist is very true. Great job!