Getting Warmer

A pleasant afternoon visiting the Getty with Mike Adams and a group of my students didn’t leave a great deal of time in the studio, but after dropping off the students and taking a short break for a glass of good Californian Chardonnay I made it back to the easel to add some warmth to the Green Man painting.

In the first shot I’ve added flesh over the brown layer, quite blocky at at first, then looking for subtle shifts in brightness and colour. I used Red Ochre, Ceramic White (nicely transparent, and a good substitute for Zinc Oxide), and a mixture of Cadmium Orange and Viridian for the flesh tone. After roughly blocking in the areas of colour with quite thin paint I used a soft fan brush (Silver) to blend the new paint together. It’s all pretty thin and transparent, so you can still see the shift of value in the grey layer showing through the skin-coloured layer. I didn’t get to the bottom right side of the face, so you can compare the areas that have been glazed with those which haven’t. Once this flesh layer is complete I’ll re-establish the darks, this time probably in a warmer brown.

On the right you can see the progress I’ve made with the Star painting, which has a thin stream of water pouring from the jug the girl is holding. In addition to adding the water I’ve lightened up the legs with some Ceramic White because I thought they were a little too dark and not subtle enough. I’ll add a little of that orange and green mix flesh tone and some Red Ochre to them tomorrow, revisiting the shapes of the shadows without letting them get quite as brown as they were before.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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