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Simplifying the life model painting

Last Friday we looked at the technique of simplifying a face into its simplest forms fist by blocking in dark and light and then maybe adding a third value, whilst aiming to keep the separation of values visible to maintain the illusion of volume. We also looked at ways of mark making that respond to actual observation and not get filtered through our logical, and highly distorting, logical brain. Look how Catherine Kehoe hardly paints the eyes or hair but we still perceive their presence.

The issue will arise again when we get stuck on hands, feet, fingers and toes, so we will have to find ways of suggesting forms rather than painting them directly, like Catherine does above with the negative painting of the hair shadow that merges into the background.

Although we won't have the dramatic lighting that illumines this dramatic Courbet painting we can try to concentrate on identifying the relationship of dark and light shapes of the body and the background. If we stick to a very simple palette we will be better able to control that relative contrast between forms that will help us to model the the figure.

I've revisited the settings for the blog and now hopefully you will all be able to post your paintings, resource images etc. If you go right down to the bottom of the page you should see a comment box that will also allow you to upload images. Go on, you can do it!

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OK, let's try loading my palette knife painting!

May 25, 2023
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