|Self portrait in painting hat|
16 x 12
This portrait was done with a 6 colour + white palette that I restricted to high chroma colours:
Cad red light
Cad yellow pale
Cad yellow deep
My white was flake white hue. I like it for its thick texture and the fact that it doesn't corrupt colour as much as titanium does. That allowed me to get good clean colour without chalkiness. I still like titanium, but am aware of its limitations.
What I was trying to do was mix flesh tones that made sense but had no earth tones in them. Convenience colours like raw umber and yellow ochre have their place, but they also impart a certain low-chroma look to paintings, and I was getting a bit tired of that look. Not having raw umber meant that I had to darken a colour with ultramarine (in some form, whether pure or as part of a green or purple), and not having yellow ochre meant that I had to think hard about the cool colours in the face, and not rely on my go to base colour.
The portrait is colourful, but it works because the relationships are right: the cools are in the right places in relationship to the warms, and the values make sense. If these relationships are accurate, you can put any colour that you want into a face, and it will read as true. We've all seen a person's face turn green near a bright lawn, or orange in a sunset, and we accept it. The important thing to remember is that, even in a green face, the cheeks and other areas have a hint of red, just as they would in a more conventional colour scheme.
My next self portrait will be a more earthy, Zorn palette. The greys will be less lively, but it has a certain sophisticated appeal.