15 May 2009

trinity (color study)

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

this color study was prepared to evaluate a color scheme that i intend for a series of mirror poses with trinity. i also wanted to explore ways to model her hair on cold pressed paper, and play around with the composition.

the hair turned out to be more work than i intended but the method i used -- lifting paint from a foundation layer of synthetic black (perylene maroon, phthalo green, a little phthalo blue), then painting into the highlights with the component colors, then shaping the darks with a second application of black -- gave the hair a softness i hadn't expected.

i foregrounded the figure by painting the flesh tones in burnt sienna, cadmium scarlet, benzimida maroon and cobalt teal, over a foundation wash of raw sienna, then contrasting it with the ultramarine violet wall color and the greenish brown frame of the mirror. the figure within the mirror is painted with cadmium red and chromium oxide green, shaded with phthalo blue. as a final step i laid a light wash of phthalo blue over the reflection, to push it back, but i'm not satisfied with the result.

i shaped trinity's portrait toward a contemplative, almost wistful expression. trinity told me stories of her teenage years in gymnastics and the many recent positive changes in her adult life, she seemed to be looking both inward and outward. i have also begun to see consciousness as fundamentally an image projected by physicality into identity, the vanitas theme of the middle ages and renaissance.

1 comment:

christian said...

this is a very nice study.