Sunday, August 17, 2014

Layering and abstraction

Orange Pail
40 x 30
An experiment in abstraction and layers, this painting pleases me.

I use a lot of construction lines when I begin a figure painting; they help me to place the figure and get decent proportion and they also make the big, empty canvas feel less like virgin territory and more like a painting.  In this piece, I decided to leave and emphasize those initial marks.  I liked the way they broke up the space and emphasized the triangular nature of the child's pose.

The layers were applied over several sessions, each one a translucent mixture of greyed colour, often complementary to the one beneath it.  When each area had achieved a sense of complexity and depth from this application method, the overall effect was one of subtle and luminous neutrals.  I liked it, but I also really like colour, so then it was time to revisit the painting and selectively add hits of colour, creating the life and spark that satisfied me.

I saved the most intense chroma for the lower left quadrant: the bucket, the blue line on the swim trunks, and the child's arm.  In all of those greys, these high chroma elements really leapt out and drew the eye.  It was interesting to see just how far I could push these areas without losing the overall harmony of the painting. This piece was an adventure.

Happy painting!  

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