29 July 2007

red & green

kimberly (color study)
Arches CP 300gsm 14" x 10". 3 hours.

i have played around with flesh mixtures for several years. this painting was done entirely in red or green paints: quinacridone magenta and viridian for the background; cadmium scarlet and phthalo green YS for the figure; the hair is cadmium scarlet and perylene maroon; the freehand drawing (squaring the image to copy it) is in charcoal.

the technique of glazing a carmine lake pigment over a green (terre verte) ground dates from the middle ages, and is described somewhere in james elkins' "what painting is". i only began experimenting with it a few weeks ago. i have been looking for ways to model the figure without using a blue violet shadow tint, and this does the trick.

i am contemplating doing about twenty of these small scale figures in the same color scheme. the model was a natural, a dancer and free spirit, and gave me a great series of poses.

this is what i call a problem painting, something done to tackle a specific visual problem or examine a specific painting technique. these are often gift images, for example when something grabs my interest because it would be a challenge to paint it. otherwise the problem paintings are like experiments or explorations, simply watching how things go, to learn what is possible or "what works".


Nick said...

I'm usually not keen on "realistic" skin tones in watercolor, so I go for this slightly woozy pallor with its graphitiness...flare of color on the edges very effective. Great pose and POV. Love her left arm, this girl's in shape!

Dawn said...

Hi Bruce!

I am loving your blog and your paintings

thanks Nick for suggesting taking a look.