Wednesday, July 29, 2009

triptych with Stewart Little

The other day I actually sat down in a comfy chair in the middle of the day. Not something I tend to do. From this vantage point I noticed a vignette through the pains of the french doors. I decided it would be something I would enjoy painting. The mullions dividing the composition in thirds made me think that it should be a triptych. 

The above image shows a little of what I saw from that seat. It was inconvenient to paint from the "comfy chair" but real convenient to study the painting's progress. Not having a clear line of sight with my subject I also used a photograph for reference. This painting was done within a weeks time, not painting every day but having the opportunity to study it daily.

When I start a painting I typically tone the canvas or panels in a wash of Cadmium Red Light, then block in the darker areas with the Cad Red lt. and Ultramarine Blue.

I block in areas, placing color references to fine tune the relationship of the shapes. Typically I start with the darks, keeping white off my painting till I'm secure with the placement of the whole composition. In this case I did lighten the background early. I wanted to establish a strong contrast with the objects in front of the curtain.

These photos taken indoors while the painting is in process may not be the best for color reference but they help illustrate the progression of the painting.

The final painting(s) below shows a truer color relationship. I have noticed that digital cameras tend to enhance the colors not always good for showing accurate color harmonies. They may make the snapshots of a birthday party more lively. I tend to use a lot of highly saturated colors in my paintings. My colors are layered on the canvas, often the camera may only capture one of the layers - not always one I might expect. Sometimes I don't realize how strong a color on a painting is till I see a photo of it.

three panels 20" x 10" oil on board

The panel on the left has a couple of twisted lines. they might not be easily recognizable, it is a part of a lamp (twisted metal spiral and the cord) one of a pair, French in origin. The other lamp I think of as my "I Dream of Jeannie" lamp, this is the first time it showed up in a painting.

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