Leaving the Foliage

The green glaze covering the leaves.

The freshly painted flesh and shirt, working nicely with the leaves.

The leaves have been treated to Sap Green mixed with Iron Oxide Red, and some strokes of Grey-Green to add variety, then the shadows deepened with a touch of Raw Umber. The buds have been painted with a little Cadmiium Red mixed with Foundation White. It’s a good start. I want to rework  the leaves by bringing in some Iron Oxides to warm them and to the stems, which I started highlighting in white in preparation, before I got tired of the incredible staining power of Sap Green, which is truly a pain, getting into everything! I’ll let it dry thoroughly before recommencing.

With these glazes of green over all of the leaves it’s time to move onto painting the woman’s skin and her clothes, adding some Burnt Sienna into the shadows, popping subtle reds into the eyes, nose and mouth, and into a few areas of the neck and armpits. I enjoyed putting white highlights into the chest and arms, particularly introducing subtle movements of colour by allowing the paints to blend into the white. I glazed her shirt using a Yellow Ochre that balances the gold of the ball in the Emperor’s hand. Over the Raw Umber underpainting it appears quite green.

I’ve noticed that when I start putting colour onto the paintings after I’ve been working in grey and brown for a long time the fresh paint seems extraordinarily bright, so I have to restrain myself from greying everything down until I can see how all the colour works together.

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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