I purchased a mirror today and did my first self portrait in well over 5 years. I was watching some videos from a Casey Baugh demonstration and his idea of painting uses a hierarchy that is much different from mine, and it makes sense.
His hierarchy: Value, Color, Edges, and drawing. Composition is done before the painting is started. This is much different from my painting hierarchy, but mine is ranked in order of importance, his is in order of completion. This is an amazing breakthrough for me, I had never thought about my current hierarchy as an order of completion, I just automatically ranked them in importance and completed them in the same order, with no thought of if the completion order would work well. So, I did this painting tonight to see if my hierarchy needs to also be structured in order of completion and if it needs to be the same order as Casey Baugh has.
I started the painting very loosely, I even used some liquin medium to thin down a wash for the background. By the way, the more I use liquin the more I don’t like it. Liquin seems to thin out the paint and at the same time destroy its adherence to the canvas. My main thought while working was to get the value as correct as possible while at the same time blocking in the major shapes of my face and keeping the drawing very loose. After getting the canvas filled with paint and all of the major shapes and values present I then began to refine values and color with thicker paint while working the drawing better. Honestly I found it very easy to move the shapes around after the paint was on the canvas so I could get the drawing correct. What I didn’t do much of was measuring. I think if I incorporated a bit of measuring into this it would have worked much better. In the end I was fairly happy with what I had accomplished in only an hour.
I’m not sure yet of the effectiveness of this change in completion of a painting. I will have to do many more like this in order to decide.
My hierarchy of painting importance
Trial hierarchy of painting completion
How can I improve the drawing
With my lack of drawing focus or measuring I’m surprised that the drawing comparison is this close. I feel like if I would have incorporated a few measurements the drawing would be spot on.
How can I improve the values?
This is the important part. I was focusing the hardest on values. Relatively I think they are pretty close. The beard is too dark for the parts that are in light. I also think that the brighter areas could have been toned down a bit. I purchased a lower wattage light bulb tonight, so I think the next time I paint my values should be easier to figure out.