Monday, October 6, 2008

Study for still life with Two Pears

Charcoal, 14x16 – Study for Two Pears

This study is for a studio painting to be done in the indirect method. A traditional method of painting in transparent layers of color over a monochrome under painting.
It is my most preferred painting technique because of the illusion of three dimensional form it produces. But before I dedicate too much time to a canvas I will produce a sketch, to work out composition and design. Looking for simple shapes and patterns. Considering design elements such as, focal point, variety, unity and balance. A successful painting has an underlying structure. But at this stage I am not as much concerned about draftsmanship as natural organizing principles and if the image inspires me to move further with it. So the preliminary sketch is kept fairly simple, to the broadest forms
and patterns of light and dark. I will start with a quick contour sketch in graphite. And mass in large tones with soft vine charcoal, lifting out the lights with a kneaded eraser.
Not too much time committed here, but enough for me to decide if I want to develop this idea into an oil painting.

Grisaille, 24x30 – Still life with Two Pears

The under painting is done in values of grey, mixed from white, burnt umber and ultramarine blue. The canvas was covered with a mid tone grey and modeled with lighter and darker tones of that mixture. Since I have already decided on the structure and composition of this piece, I can focus my attention to the value relationship and draftsmanship I will need to convey the illusion of depth. Keeping the forms round and edges soft, and slightly out of focus. At this stage you can work in a vigorous and subtractive method; adding and removing paint as you move shapes around modeling light and shade. Fine tuning the structure and values, of the under painting. In the indirect method I have broke down the complicated production of a painting into smaller more manageable stages. And laid down a foundation, for the building transparent layers of colors. That will give the painting a rich resonate depth. And a true illusion of dimension and atmosphere.