Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I mean by 'Painting like Frazetta' (not copying his style)

When I mention to people that I want to learn to paint like Frazetta I get a lot of panic reactions - people immediately assume I want to copy his style. But I don't.

What I mean is that I want to learn the techniques and methods he used. Thanks to the Fritz Frazetta website and the excellent notes by Doc Dave, I've discovered what those techniques are, and my suspicions from the very beginning are borne out. He blocks in directly in oil paint on the canvas after doing thumbnails, sketches and color treatments, does an umber underpainting and finishes in one sitting using the alla-prima wet-into-wet technique.

He also doesn't labor aanything - he's develped a sort of shorthand where he uses sweeping lines to draw in the figure and indicate all the prominent forms and shadows, then he does the shading (all part of the underpainting). This leaves nothing for followup aside from putting in some colors - by this point the 3 dimensional sense of solidity is already fully developed.

But knowing how he does it is not the same as learning the techniques - that requires a lot of practice until I eventually work out my own system and start to get good at it.

And now I believe I"ve come far enough in drawing alone to justify beginning the painting portion of my training. Time to start rendering basic forms in monochrome and discovering what colors I can mix from my limited palette.

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