Yellow Dress

Two images of the work in progress today: first, a picture of it the face this afternoon with another layer of flesh adjusting the work; and then the first layer of colour going onto the dress.

I added Titanium White to the face to pick up highlights, using it instead of the Ceramic White because it’s so much more opaque and brilliant, lending itself well to producing clear lights that really pop out. It was useful in the hair too, differentiating areas of subtle shadow from the brighter areas. To enhance the shadows I carefully added a glaze of Raw Umber, and a touch or two of Burnt Sienna here and there, particularly around her eyes.

It’s really been a day of close detail work, trying to get increasing accuracy in the features and subtle shifts from colour to colour. Limiting the palette really helps, and allowing the paint to be transparent enough for the foundational grey work to control the value of the colour that’s being applied over it.

I’m satisfied with the new mixture of Cadmium Orange and Viridian for the flesh. I’ve put my hand into the picture so that we can see how well the colour matches to real skin (notice that the lower hand is still in its simplest form; I’ve yet to put any detail onto it at all). The new mix is very close to flesh when a little work on enhancing shadows adds to the dark values. I’d also like to add some discrete areas of very slightly blue colour into the shadows to make it really vibrate.

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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