Thursday, September 30, 2010

Portrait Study Underpainting

Wouldn't you dislike having such mottled skin as shown on the neck?  Whether a painting will turn out is always questionable when I paint so I will share with you the different stages.  I wanted to explore under painting the darker areas and once this dries will go over it with the skin tones.  The paper was dry when I painted the neck. 

In the photo below, you can tell how wet the paper was by the blooms where water ran back into the paint.  Also, there is a halo effect that will have to be corrected. 

My palette is yellow ochre (warm), cad. red light (warm), transparent red oxide (warm), azo yellow (cool), quin. rose (cool), indian red (cool).  Blues are cerulean, cobalt turquoise and indigo. 

Crystal Cook stated in her blog post on September 29th, "I guess I would say that I am confident in my ability to control my medium, watercolor. It took me many years and many, many, many failed paintings to reach the point that I'm at now."  I love Crystal's confident brush work and the so fine skin tones she achieves.

Controlling a medium such as watercolor is knowing the best ratio of water to paint and knowing what it will do when painted on wet or damp or dry paper.  It is looking at the subject and deciding which areas will be painted with cool colors and which areas will be painted with warm colors.  It is knowing what brush strokes can be achieved with the different brushes.  It is seeing shapes, variation of size and tones within the different areas.  But this is all the technical stuff, what about what the individual artist brings to the subject?  What emotions do they see in the subject or what emotions does the subject bring to the artist?


RH Carpenter said...

It's amazing how something that looks such a mess as the first underpainting can turn out and come together in the 2nd the way it does - good discussion about watercolor - so many things you have to think about, it's no wonder it takes us a while to get our style/voice in the artwork.

Cindi said...

ann enjoying your wip... its so fun to watch others paint... and especially wondrful fot hear your thoughts... will be pulling up chair and watching with lots of interest!! thanks for sharing!!

Crystal Cook said...

Ann, I always enjoy your posts so much. Not only for the beautiful work that you do, but for your thought provoking musings on being an artist.

And I really love the fresh colors in this, you've done a great job of mingling them and keeping them clean and free of mud. It's going to be a beauty!

And thanks for what you said about me :) Made me smile :):)

Ann Buckner said...

Hi Rhonda, Cindi and Crystal.

Amazing isn't it how something that is a mess can look so much better with a few brushstrokes of water and paint. Thanks for your great comments all of you.

Rhonda, what I love is that the more one paints the more ones analysis of what needs to be done is almost made subconsciously. Pretty amazing thing, our brains.

Cindi, you paint such beautiful skin tone. They have a softness and such smooth transitions.

Crystal, always a great pleasure to read your blog and view your beautiful work.