Sunday, May 18, 2014

"Whole Piece #64"

"Whole Piece #64"
6" by 6"
Oils on Panel
Blue Toned Surface &
Basic Under-sketch
Cool Skin

When I decided to paint from this reference photo I was in love with the palette of color for the painting I could imagine evolving from the colors in the photo. One aspect of the photo that struck me as an opportunity was the overall cool cast to the light. Since I knew I wanted to play up skin-admiring cool colors I decided to start the painting off with an overall blue toned surface. With blue as the color which the initial layer of paint was up against I was better able to see the warmth in the relatively cool colors I would lay-in on top of the blue to start building skin tone. With a cool blue starting point I was able to find my way to portraying blonde hair with blue-greens in the shadows and a skin surface with muted greens and blues.

First Layer of Painting 
Color Abundance

For the Whole Piece Series I am striving for much variety in palette from painting to painting while maintaining visual cohesion between all the paintings when they are displayed together. A good contrast to this painting's cool palette is in my last post. Look particularly at the relatively cool highlights on the nose in "Whole Piece #36," that color would appear warm on this cheek.

P.S. I want offer a hearty thanks to the Grossmont College student who let me take this picture for reference!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Whole Piece #36"

"Whole Piece #36"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
"Oh, I do love to extemporize with color..."

This is a bit of a throwback by now in the series, but I felt it was a good time to share it now. The skin tone in this painting was a joy to play with. All the warm analogous colors from varying shades of orange to deep muted red brown (and, of course, I snuck in some bits of other color to help show off in contrast the orange family). I wish I had taken a picture of my palette as it was rich vibrant and inviting. Today's painting was such a contrast to this one, with a focus on a cool palette. I'll be sharing "Whole Piece #64" tomorrow and it'll be nice to see these two paintings next to one another to see how much variety in hue from warm to cool can be shown in human skin (and hair).

For now I'm stopping myself from writing anymore. I'm too tired to share my mental rambling any further.  More painting and blogging tomorrow. 'Tis an exciting prospect. Night.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Whole Piece #62"

"Whole Piece #62"
5" by 7"
Oils on Panel
The Pout

While painting this small baby's lips, and thinking about their unaware owner I couldn't help but ponder where the idea of a pout stands. Has it ever struck you as odd that a "pout" is as easily associated with a baby, or a young sullen child, and a quite adult sexy woman? I thought it might just be me with this perception. So, I googled just the word pout and clicked on the images tab, and I found both small children and adult women and the further I scrolled the more adult women there were with lipsticked lips and alluring expressions. What at one time seems to have been a word associated with childhood (my Mom remembers a time when no one called a woman's lips a pout), and often cranky childhood at that, is now a facial expression women widely adopt to look sexier.

Is it just the fact that it makes woman's lips look bigger, or are we enjoying seeing an adult woman as much like a petulant helpless child? I'm not sure I've made up my mind as how these two meanings of the word came about, but I certainly want to pay attention to how they affect our perceptions.

Process

This painting became focused on balance. Though there was a definite boldness to the way these lips sat there was a soft calmness that I wanted to convey as well. To portray the calm mood I kept the value shifts subtle. Though I wanted this to be quieter in my application of techniques I didn't want to miss out on portraying the cool colors that can be pushed a bit beyond what we can easily perceive and I still made sure the brushwork was varied in texture.

Next

As I now have more paintings completed in the Whole Piece Series than ahead of me I am focusing on finding bits of faces I haven't portrayed or have yet to portray with a particular expression. I'm looking for the way the skin between eyebrows wrinkles, the skew of the outside corner of an eye, and any other peculiarity of angle or line. I'm carefully rounding out this series, so that the viewer has much to think about.

P.S. You can get involved in the Whole Piece Series too. Read about that here.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Whole Piece #56"

"Whole Piece #56"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel

Earprints

Okay, I knew everybody had unique ears. From my long time enjoyment of British mystery series I believe I once heard that ear prints are as unique as thumb prints. But, I had never thought much about the form of the ears of each person I met, unless of course they were yelling at me to get attention with multitudes of earrings, a humongous plug or large hole where a plug usually lived, were rather over-sized, or stood out more than usual, etc.. But in sifting through photo reference for this series I find myself curious if anybody has a boring or "normal" ear, there is so much variety, many more people have elfish ears than I expected and the lobes go from smooth and pillowy to mountainous. So, if you ever meet me and you catch me staring at the side of your head, you'll know why.

P.S. I just finished my third infant feature for the Whole Piece Series. I'm excited to share the pout soon. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Whole Piece #60"

"Whole Piece #60"
4" by 4"
Oils on Panel
I made it to 60 with so many distractions in recent weeks! *happy dance*

Color

I'm pleased with how the color worked out in this painting. A good portion of the skin tone is completely green, and yet there is a subtly to the end result. The painting doesn't become about that choice of green, but that green does make the painting's mood what it is.

Odd Gaze

There are so many moments of thought or interaction that we often don't portray in a painting or at least they defer to the focal point. Here I enjoy that this is the eye that, were the whole face portrayed, would be viewed secondarily to the eye that would sit closer to the viewer and that this facial expression seems more a reaction to internal thoughts rather than the result of an interaction with the person/people present.

Form

One simple attraction for me to this particular reference photo choice was the particular roundness that we can see when looking at the eye from this angle and how the shape of the iris is distorted from the angle because we are partly looking through as well as at it.

Next

I plan to paint like a mad woman for the next couple of days. Perhaps I can even sneak in a surprise gift painting. AND, I should really make time to get back to my book art project before I lose my sense of connection with it. Then an outing or two to get more reference for the Whole Piece Series. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

"Whole Piece #57"

"Whole Piece #57"
6" by 6"
Oils on Panel

First Phase:
The gessoed surfaced is toned and
a simple layout is worked out
with rough line and a bit of value.
Second Phase:
Darkest darks are roughly laid in and the
lights are placed though lightest lights are
reserved for later. Attention is placed on these
early steps to the angle and character of the
brushwork that sets the painting going.
Third Phase:
Adding subtly in value and brushwork and
bringing lights and darks to meet directly.
Finished





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