24 April 2009

trinity's hands

watercolor on Arches CP 300gsm, 10" x 14".

these are the hands of a young local woman of polish english descent, who works in web site design and is exploring a variety of alternative and tribal healing practices. she complimented my paintings and consented to model for me; we had a very enjoyable and productive session. she was confident for a first time model and gave me many good images.

usually i ask the model to present her hands in front, which means the thumbs will be turned outward when the palms face up. i asked trinity to drape her hands behind her back, over a chair, to get this image. i like it because it mimics the right and left hand of two individuals touching.

trinity was a gymnast in her early teens, and i learned from her about gymnast mental preparation. the background here is mostly cobalt teal blue, which resembles her "power color". i tinted it slightly with yellow to sharpen the contrast with the skin tones.

the flesh base tone is chrome titanium oxide, muted slightly with ultramarine, then tinted with pyrrole orange, burnt sienna, quinacridone magenta and phthalo green. the sleeves are cobalt teal mixed with cadmium scarlet, painted in overlapping strips to produce the ribbing in the fabric. shadows over skin tones are always challenging, and i like the way these turned out. (colors are more accurate in the full sized image; click on the image above.)


Dean Grey said...


I love "trinity's hands".

The painting has a very illustrative feel to it.

Very simple in its design and composition but in this case simplicity is beautiful.

The hands are anatomically correct and proportioned nicely.

Nice touch having the sleeves be part of the painting. It adds more interest that way.

The interlocking fingers, the cast shadows, the soft turquoise background against the peach skin all work wonderfully together.

Just a lovely painting!


chris! said...

bruce, nice to see your postings again. i love the hands too. by the way, what did you learn about a gymnast's mental preparation? - as a painter and an athlete i'm interested to know.


Bruce said...

chris, trinity was not forthcoming on that topic except to say it was a lot of visualization of the routine and imagining her "power color", which was teal.