Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week Two of "Drinking the Kool-Aid" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

After asking the advice of one of my teachers at Studio Incamminati, my approach for the second week at the museum began with a small value study.  If you didn't read what I did in week one you can catch up here.  Before adding color I wanted to be sure I had a clear vision of the lights and darks in the painting.  Value studies are meant to be the simplest shapes of light and dark with the basic position of the big proportions.  My aim was to have two values in the dark and three to four in the light with a goal to squint to see the correct value.  This study took about 40 minutes.  On to color...

8"x10" Oil on Linen Panel

My palette consisted of the traditional Studio Incamminati set of colors.

Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red
Cobalt Blue
Pthalo Green
Burnt Sienna
Cadmium Scarlet
Dioxazine Purple
Pthalo Turquoise
Cadmium Green
Cadmium Yellow
Indian Yellow
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Green Light
Cadmium Yellow Light
Permanent Rose
Titanium White
Cadmium Orange
Cerulean Blue
Perylene Red
Ultramarine Blue

I tried to state the simple color masses in the first pass of light and shadow.  My choices are based on the first impression of the color I see at a quick glance in each area.  As much as I tried to get the first color notes correct I waited until all the colors are stated to really begin adjusting them.  They influence each other and this affects the choices you make when adjusting them.  I should have stopped and taken more step photos along the way but in trying to work instinctively, I neglected to document my progress.

First Pass

The three questions I ask myself when comparing colors to see their relationships are:

Is it lighter or darker? (Value)
Is it warmer or cooler? (Temperature)
Is it brighter or duller? (Saturation/Intensity)

This is the result of a full day working the colors back and forth.  I pushed the colors are far as I could to bring them up before the next pass is added on week three.  Then I will adjust the masses of color in relation to each other more.  As I tried to mix what I saw in the hat I couldn't seem to arrive at a color I was happy with.  In researching artists in this era, they had Prussian Blue on their palette so I incorporated that into list of colors.  That seemed to work so I will keep using it next week.
First Pass of Color Completed

Close Up

My biggest challenge for next week is being able to see the dark areas of the painting.  The room is dimly lit and that makes it hard to see the eyes and hair.  I plan on using binoculars, we'll see if that helps.  

author image

Lynn Snyder

My journey of learning to see as an artist.

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