Thursday, October 26, 2017

At the Feet of the Gods or An Exercise in Colour Restraint

At the Feet of the Gods
Acrylic on 10 x 10 inch gallery wrapped canvas
From my own photograph

This time around I set myselves a challenge to paint a scene from one of my old photographs. The challenge was to paint it with an almost monochrome palette yet keep the values consistent with very bright sunlight. In addition I wanted to work on weaning myself off my bent of too much detailing.

To that end I chose a smallish gallery wrapped canvas and a reference photo I'd taken years ago, in Nashville at a book fair. I wanted the indistinct background figures to stay in a high key (very light colours) while keeping the values in a wide enough range to denote sunlight.

I really liked the seated figure, but I changed things a bit so's he looked like he had just looked up from his book and noticed I was snapping a photo. I wanted him against the dark marble pedestal for the contrast with his white T-shirt. I wanted to keep the relative values correct for the maximum sunlit effect. You can see my very old value chart on top of the reference photo. I used this time and again to check values.....I've learned that I very often miss the mark on which value is which.

You can make your own value chart by mixing together black and white paint and splitting the difference between total black and total white in half.....then again in half....and so on until you have anywhere from 5 to 10 steps between the two extremes.

I finished off the painting with, what was for me , a restrained palette....keeping any intense colours on the main character and keeping most everything else in the warm or cool gray range.

Next time around I just may go wild......and head off in the other direction.... of colour, color everywhere!

No comments:

Post a Comment