28 March 2009

leah's hands

watercolor on Arches CP 600gsm, 14" x 10".

leah is a lovely young massage therapist who has been working with me and my wife, and on recommendation to good friends. she is one of a kind, a sweet, inquisitive and generous spirit with an amazing skill in her craft and remarkable personal integrity.

i took a few photos of her hands after one of our 2+ hour sessions, and liked this photo of one hand supporting the other enough to work it up into a painting.

the background is three layers of quinacridone violet, muted and darkened with a layer of phthalo blue and two of benzimida maroon. it's in that mystical zone between a spiritual purple and an earthy brown. i used the glazes to nudge the color around, but mainly to tamp down a whitish speckling that occurred because the arches paper pushed up a fine texture of cellulose fibers as it was wetted. (i have had a lot of problems with arches papers lately. more on that in another post.)

the hands were painted entirely in the most intense, lightfast and transparent paints i know of -- nickel dioxine yellow, pyrrole orange, quinacridone red, phthalo blue, phthalo green and quinacridone orange (i think there is even some dioxazine violet in there) -- all heavily diluted into crystalline tints. the image was built up with layer after layer of these watery hues ... mostly the red, oranges and green, with yellow, blue and purple for accent and modeling. in noon sunlight the painting shimmers.

No comments: