Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Lights and darks
Work in progress 16x20"
by Susan Roux
I've been painting all day long lately. Since the workshop, inspiration is peeked. Thank you for all your encouraging comments as I dive into a new approach. Its as though my motor is on and I'm afraid to shut it off for fear of loosing precious information.
Paint, paint, paint. Like a mad woman with a brush!
This is the initial block-in for my latest piece. Actually it isn't really the initial one. I took a photo of what I thought was my block-in, only to find the man's head was very puny. Odd how I couldn't see it looking at the canvas, yet it jumped out so clearly in a photograph. A bit discouraged, I returned to the studio to enlarge his head... Its better now.
Don Hatfield's approach is to focus on the large shapes of light and dark without attention to detail.
I'm trying really hard to do this, but I'm certain I have way more detail showing in this initial block-in than he would allow. He has a reputation of "slaying our darlings". This means knocking out the detail to reinforce and adjust the correct values in large shapes.
I chose this image to paint because it related closer to our portrait lesson than wildflowers in a field. Though I'm assured the same principles apply, it seems easier to follow his instructions with a figure in the scene. Now that my figure is adjusted, I can begin to focus on all the different planes and how light affects them. Be it reflected light or direct sunlight.
I think I'm off to a good start. My biggest fear is the yellow grid of the lobster trap. I'm hoping to keep it soft and simple, but the mathematical side of me will be pushing for every line in the grid! I'll try not to listen... Perhaps I can put them all in and then make some disappear.
We'll see how that goes. After all, its only paint.
Enjoy your day. Don't be afraid to experiment a little... or a lot.