Monday, 15 July 2013

Painting from real living model

Last weekend I went to a painting session with two colleagues who routinely go there. We used oil paint on canvas and a nice women who took the pause for 5 hours! It was a bit of a challenge for me as it was both:
- my first time in life painting - I do abstract or faery-style people so that if/when I get the proportion wrong, I can always say it was meant to be that way. No excuse this time.
- my first time with oil paint - I use acrylic. Acrylic dries as you paint so you can do several layers and put your hand on the canvas while you paint (to get stability). With oil paint when you go back to what you have done an hour before to add a bit of color, it smears and mix all together (which is nicely called ''live''). In other words, you cannot put the color you want where you have already painted something as the final color will be an average between what you had and what you add. Unsettling but really useful to blend altogether and fade-in, smoother the whole thing once you get use to it.

We started by drawing the composition with a pencil to put the proportions down. I would say it took us one hour. Then we discussed about colors to use; the teacher was keen on avoiding the brown for this session and using more a kind of blue & purple tone for the skin shadows. And it worked well! During the short period of time our model was stretching we were quickly doing the drapes & background. And voilà!

Stupid me, I only thought about taking a picture while it was down in a corner of the studio
 to let it dry... so sorry for the poor light!

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