Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Still Life W/ 3 Pots @ Cutting Board - day 2 lessons

Did a lot of glazing tody, and everything went so much better! Spoke wiht Jack out on the lawn about the rent checks I havent cashed yet and about painting - he's done some acrylic painting. Beside the point, but just recording it as journal type stuff.

Working with some medium is much cleaner and easier than without - the paint works much better. It also requires a lot less paint! I'm considering trying an underpainting already using some medium, and then working over it with more and with some turps added.

I oiled out the non-shiny parts of the canvas before starting, which I think helped a lot. Paint goes on so much smoother over freshly-applied paint rather than onto dry canvas. With medium though it dries a lot faster - after about 2 hours it was getting too sticky to work over anymore, so now I'm letting it dry. Ultimately my goal is to learn to do alla-prima, but I think it's a good idea to go ahead and use these lengthier processes during the learning stage - before I can do a/p I need to really learn about mixing colors to hit just the right value and color, and so colors are tied together throughout. In other words, I need to do my color charts.

I see that I'm really not painting the cylindrical and spherical forms properly - there's supposed to be a lot of midtone between the darkest shadow and the highlight, but I'm tending to put a hard edge like a core shadow instead. Work gradually up to the highlight. And really there is no highlight unless it's a shiny material.

Need to get some bigger mongoose or black sable brushes for blenders and for working with the thin paint. They're excellent for it. Also a couple of good W/N Series 7 round liners for detail work. Wait - you know what - I've already got a brand new #1 and #3 here for ink drawing - I think I'll dedicate one of them to oil and mark it somehow as no longer suitable for watermedia.

I'm doing a lot of scrubbing now. I like the way it looks - it leaves paint down in the crevices and shows the texture of the canvas. I suppose this is what they meant in the book I remember seeing once where it said Titian used rags and his fingers more than brushes at times. Not so much to apply the paint (at least for me)  - I put it on with brushes and use them as blenders, but do some scrubbing as well.

I wish I hadn't gone straight to glazes after yesterday's underpainting - glazes have more medium than frotties, and those should come in between. They'll help to refine the underpainting before getting to the glazing stage, which is more about tinting color rather than shaping.

The more I look at this the more I dislike the bright colors, all of which are too high in intensity. I decided to compare with a few Frazettas strictly looking at colors...

Color Comparison :

The John Carter one at the end is about the brightest thing he's done, and still not nearly as intense and saturated as mine. In places it is, but how knows how to balance that out with more neutral and low-key colors. 

It ocurrs to me that I may not use tube colors anymore, but I'm alays mixing 2 colors of the same temperature unless I need to mix complements. I;m sarting to think  need to always muddy up colors by mixung in the complement. Or is there something else to it? How do you make these more neutral desaturated colors? 

My colors when they get darkr retain full color intensity, they don't dull down at all. In fact the darkest blues look like the most intense colors on the canvas, which is totally wrong! Same goes for the dark browns. Bleugh!! 

I'm thinking it's time to start doing lots of quick very focused little oil sketches aimed strictly at achieveing certain color effects and no eye toward finesse or anything else. So rather than take a week of 18 hour days to finish one labored painting that I learn little from I can crank out a dozen in a day and supercharge the learning process.

A quick browse through Charles Reid's Painting By Design and Oil Painting Techniques, which I believe he contributed to, suggests that you generally use complements mixed together or near complements, almost always across the temp divide. And don't mix them thoroughly on the palette - let them only mix partially and finish on the painting.

Time to play!

All this goes hand in hand with the lesson I learned when I had to do an extreme desaturation on the 1st Fafhrd tablet painting. Now I just need to figure out how to desaturate my oil paints - and use broeken color. Frazetta mever uses just one color in any area - there's always 2 that partially blend but are also separate - I think slightly dfferent values, so they also model form. 

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