Temperance and Amelia – the dark

I painted and knifed an en grisaille layer for Amelia, who needs to have some rich dark shadows if the light effect is going to be effective. I worked some darkness into the shadows of the Temperance piece but I think I need to add a bit more into the thigh, where there should be some darkness cast by the jacket flap.

Old Caravaggio knew what he was doing with this kind of work, and I’ve always admired him for it, even if he did have the crappiest life imaginable. The important thing to remember is that you can leave out almost everything as long as what you leave in is in exactly the right place. If the figure is going to emerge from darkness you have to be prepared to paint out much of what you put down so that only fragments are visible. I think Amelia needs to be in a cavernous void with galaxies and stars decorating it.

Next step, to start working on the faces and getting them right, and figuring out the wings more effectively. I’ll take a look at the hawk wings I borrowed from the Biology lab and see how these may best be placed to look like wings that could actually be used.


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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