Thursday, July 21, 2011

Planning and Simplifying

Last night as the individual layers were dropped in, I became confused as to "what comes next." Should I put down more layers where I need darker values? That didn't seem the answer. I regrouped with my workshop handouts and realized that I might get better results by mixing my colors for my values with Koo's recommended starting points:
Highlights - Titanium white
Lights - Titanium white, yellow ochre, and perhaps burnt sienna as well
Half Tones - Green earth and yellow ochre, and perhaps titanium white
Shadows - Burnt umber and yellow ochre
Notice that the progression from highlight to shadow proceeds from opaque to transparent. Note also that this same progression alternates from cool to warm, cool to warm.

After reviewing my colors, I spent time reading the "Elementary Tone Exercises" in Harold Speed's "Oil Painting Techniques and Materials". My takeaway was that I might try to initially see the overall shapes and tonal values, rather than fuss with detail.

And today I came across the idea of blurring digital images to mask detail and better uncover masses of color and tone.

I think I am onto something here but the proof is in the doing. Unfortunately, surprise commitments pull me from my kitchen table. Sigh... Maybe later tonight I'll get my chance. If not, tomorrow evening for sure. I'll be trying to lay down the beginnings with sponges before moving on to brush.


  1. Re: blurring digital images- what a wicked cool idea!! Kind of reminds me in a way of the portrait technique of artist Chuck Close, too.
    ~ gretchen

  2. Glad you like it. I'm trying it out this evening. More later!