Thursday, July 20, 2006

Warrior: Second layer of Color

Although I have put some detail in the background, I am trying to keep it subdued - try squinting at the painting and you will see that the values in the background are all in the same range, as they disappear into one dark mass. If you look at the work of great portraitists, such as John Singer Sargent (in his painting entitled The Wyndham Sisters, for instance) you will see this kind of value massing employed in order to make the subjects stand out. The eye of the viewer always returns to the place where there is the greatest contrast and I have made sure that is at his head. There is still a lot of work to be done, especially with regard to the figure itself, as the likeness needs work as do the values. When working in layers, oil paint needs to dry for a few weeks between layers to prevent sinking (dry patches) and also to allow time for the artist to study what needs to be done. This means that the painting takes hours and hours of work, but the final result is worth it! I am happy so far with the composition, as there are a lot of interesting diagonals, the foreground comes forward and the background goes back. The pot on the right is necessary to balance things.

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