Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Speed Painting


I only had about 11/2 hours to paint today before I went to teach my course at the Calgary School of Art so I took the opportunity to try a fast and loose portrait.
Instead of working long and hard for the exact colour that I was after, I approximated it, focusing on getting a colour to the right temperature in comparison to the temperature of the colour next to it and also focusing on hitting the correct value.  For example, the cheeks are a warm colour and the chin and forehead are predominately cool: the eye socket area is darker and cooler than the nose; and the right side of the face is warmer than the left which had natural, cool light falling on it.
Like the portrait in the previous post, this one was done from a low-contrast photo.  The child's face was creamy and monotonously-pale against a warm, reddish wall and a dark blue scarf.  It could easily have become too flat and graphic so I exaggerated the few value changes that I observed in the face in order to create dimension.  And, to be honest, it's boring to paint a simple, creamy oval when you could, instead, paint complex value changes and layer colours over each other.  The whole act of painting is fun and I hate it when it ends too quickly!
I just finished in time to grab a quick sandwich and head to class.  With more time, I certainly would have refined areas but, as an exercise, this was useful.  It caught the essentials without belabouring the point.

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