Session #020, Work #018

Really happy that I'm finally done with those crappy panels and painting on canvas now.
Really happy that I’m finally done with those crappy panels and painting on canvas now.

Overview

The Setup.
The Setup.

I had my wife pick the subject again. I must say, if she picked a different article every day on her shelf of keepsakes I would paint something different for several months. The best thing about her picking the subject is that I do not influence here decision in any way. This way I’m forced to paint subject that I may usually avoid, like very fluffy animals or something with a lot of reflections, or something super detailed. That being said, I wouldn’t have picked this figure, but I’m really glad she did. I really enjoyed painting it and I will have to do it again.

So I finished off the 17 or so terrible panels that i had previously made out of a failed map painting attempt and I can finally paint on canvas. I’m very happy about this, the difference between those flat hard panels and a canvas is amazing. This painting was done on a very cheap 8×10 stretched canvas. The next painting will be on a flat panel of the same type of canvas. I want to see which one I like best, the hard panel canvas or the stretched. My guess is that I won’t have that much of a preference. At which point I will buy a bunch of panels this weekend.

This painting I tried something very different, something that I have been wanting to do for a while but to afraid to try it. After my drawing, which I spent a good amount of time on, I would begin applying paint as exact as possible and I would not apply paint over that stroke, however I laid it on is how it is going to stay. Now I wasn’t a complete stickler on this, in a few places I did some blending and layering of paint, but for the most part I was really focused.

My hierarchy of painting importance

  1. Drawing
  2. Value
  3. Edges
  4. Composition
  5. Color

Drawing

I outlined the painting then overlaid that on top of the photo of the still life.
I outlined the painting then overlaid that on top of the photo of the still life.

How can I improve the drawing

I spent a good amount of time drawing. As you can see the head is my base measurement for the painting and I’m happy that the drawing of it is almost perfect, at least the outline is. The further I get away from the head the more the drawing is inaccurate. The biggest issue was the left side of the figure was too far left, I know I measured from the plumb line for the right side distance but I’m pretty sure I didn’t measure for the left side distance.

This length is a bit off also, but other than that I’m happy with the drawing.

Value

I removed all the color then took pieces of the painting and still life and moved them close together for better comparison.
I removed all the color then took pieces of the painting and still life and moved them close together for better comparison.

How can I improve the values?

Ok, I knew that the face was too light… and I left it on the canvas… very sad. I should have changed that, heck the paint is still wet I could change it now… nah. I will just learn from it. I’m really happy about the rest of the values some of these areas I thought I would be way off, but as it turns out I got everything darn close.

 

Edges

I actually have comments on edges this time. Richard Schmid wrote in his book <em>Alla Prima</em>, “… I have become more aware of the role of contrasting opacity with transparency to enhance textural effects. Integrating my paint thickness with suitable edges gives me astonishingly realistic results.”

I keep re-reading this and I still don’t understand it. And I was thinking about it the whole time I was messing with the edges of the shadow cast upon the gray board. I have had trouble with these cast shadows since painting #1.

Actually the more I read it the less I think its about the secret of edges…

Here is a Schmid painting “Fallen Pine” full of contrasting edges. I love this painting, lets look at it and learn.

 

Masterful edges!
Masterful edges!