Thursday, December 6, 2012

Broken Color

That's the answer - broken color. I was really hetting perturbed because my paintings all have this totally amateurish look with flat areas of undifferenciated color that I try to do something to in glazes, but it still looks flat like a paint-by-numbers set.

Discovered broekn color (did I post about it sometime on the twilight hours last night in my paint-fume induced zombie stupor after endless hours of painting?) It's what Frazzetta does and what gives his paintings vivacity and sparkle and oomph.

Oh god my traps are sore!! Easel painting means holding your arms out in front of you rfor hour after hour after hour as the muscles begin to burn, but you just have to keep doing it. For some reason the left one feels even worse, though I hardly ever used my left arm for anything other than holding the rag.

Before starting I oiled out the underpainting from yesterday with a very thin layer of Liquin fine detail that I wiped most of the way off with a rag - perfect working surface!

Anyway, pics :

Vigorous, beautiful, powerful, almost perfect! Needs a bit more color though. 

Screwed it all up immediately (good thing I knew it was time to snap a pic! I KNEW I was about to screw it up completely... ) Overblended, thought I needed to do this to provide a more complete foundation on which to paint some more. I thought now I could add daubs of color and bring back something like the original fresh vigorousness. Nope... 

Permanent record of my current painting setup

The palette I mixed up for this - pretty good breakdown - light and dark mid tones plus middle midtones,  each with many color variations that all remain within the correct value level. Middles and dark mids should probably be darker though, or the light mids a little lighter. Kept trying to make greens though and wasn't able to - think I need a stronger yellow. For darks and lights I added white or black to the mixes in small dabs directly with the brush - this worked really well because you need very little of the most extreme values, and they should be very desaturated. 

I held a rag in my left hand, and only used 2 brushes - one bristle filbert and one mongoose blender. Worked perfectly! So much easier cleanup etc. Also cleaned the brushes in the small turps cup - so excellent! No need to keep screwing up the big Sillycoil jar. 

Next time I need to put the right colors and right values in immediately and hardly blend at all - get it right from the very start. Every stroke a finishing stroke. 

Final result for today's excursion. Not too bad - much better than yesterday. If you get up really close you can see all kinds of super-subtle color variations, but they're too subtle is the problem.

But considering yesterday I didn't even know how to do this - it's actually a huge leap forward. And now I know to be bolder and braver with it and to mix up all the color patches I'll need.

Oh, when I cleaned the palette I left the pure color lumps and now I've got it languishing in the fridge - not sure if that works or not - need to google it.

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