Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Hair of the Dog"

Here is my new painting, in oil, on a 24 by 30 inch canvas. It is a scene from a wine tasting room in Paso Robles, California.
Here are the notes I've taken while painting it.

For this painting, I decided to do a monochrome under-painting using the pigment terra rosa. I chose this because it has warm shadows and cool lighter areas naturally. I also chose this because most of it will be covered by opaque paint, unlike many of my other paintings that have much of the under-painting come through.

For session one, I started on the face of the figure and the dog. I chose these to paint first because one of my art instructors told me that you should do the most important things first in a painting. I struggled a bit with the face, because a woman's face should show soft features, and the pigment was showing some of the "grittiness" that can sometimes happen with transparent pigments. A fan brush solved those issues.

With Session 2, I finished the under-painting. Now I'm going to move in with opaque pigments.

With Session 3, I started on the face and hands. I used a mixture of cadmium red, yellow ochre, and cerulean blue to mix up the skin tone. Used that in combination with transparent oxide brown, titanium white to create the gradations in the skin tone. I some cases I used straight cerulean blue and cadmium red to cool off or warm up the skin tone as needed.

Session four: Finally, some cooler colors. The blue of the shirt was a combination of cerulean blue, permanent green, cobalt blue, and titanium white. The black for the dog is a mixture of transparent oxide red, alizarin crimson, and ultramarine blue. I used titanium white mixed with the black I mixed up, and a little transparent oxide brown for the white areas of the dog. I used a fan brush dipped in solvent to make the transitions between the black and the white of the dog.

Session six was both successful and frustrating. Right away I nailed the floor, door, and boxes. I think they look great, along with subtle changes to the hair and highlights on the clothing. After that though I really struggled. First, with the purse, I kept laying in paint scraping it off and laying it is again. I finally settled on leaving the under-painting, but darkening up the shadows a bit. Second, I laid in the bottle, pushed it around, adding more and more paint until it was a muddy mess. I then scraped that off. I'm not sure, but I might leave that one the under-painting too. Finally, at the end of the session, I painted the table. That looks okay.

For session seven, I laid in the print on the paper, darkened the bottle a bit, and did a bit of touch up. One thing that was bothering me is that the bottle was at a different angle than the corner of the wall behind it. I moved the line of the wall to make them a bit closer in angle. Lastly, I tried to add slight darkened cores to the clothing as well as some slight cast shadows. Unfortunately, it did not do much except make the clothing look a little "dirty." It is going to be what it is going to be.

Is it done? It might be done. I'll sit on it for a bit and see.

Here are links to the images showing the work in progress over time:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7

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