October 02, 2014

Trying To Push Color

I tried a little experimentation with this portrait. I decided I'd try to push the color throughout the flesh to see where it would take me or if I could pull it off. There are a few painters of the past and present that I really admire for their ability to work with and introduce color that you might not necessarily see in nature. This is very dicey. Accentuated color can turn into garish very easily. Putting in "pretty" colors just for the heck of it, or just to try to look "arty." But when it's done well it's an amazing sight to behold, IMHO.

Anyway I thought it was a good exercise. I'm not quite sure I got all my values right, but that's why they call it practice, right? ;-)

One other thing that happened that I was very unhappy about was that the canvas paper that I used for this portrait was really sub-par. I normally do my Friday portraits at BayArts on Lyons Canvas Paper. When I first discovered it, I thought, hey, this stuff isn't half bad. It's actually real duck canvas, and it's acrylic primed. It had a decent weave and best of all I could store probably 50 paintings in one slim drawer, rather than having stacks and stacks of stretched canvases or even canvas panels piling up. I even tried stretching a finished painting the other day onto a stretcher and it went great. No problem.

But this last pad that I purchased was not good. Mostly it was the weave. It looked too regular, too perfect. It almost looked like it was stamped or debossed onto paper by a machine. Yuck. Oh well. I've heard that even very expensive rolls of linen can vary from lot to lot, so I guess it's a bit of a crap shoot either way. When I do more serious paintings I will probably (and have) pony up some extra cash and go for better stuff, but for practice I will continue to cheap out.

What do you think? Color too much?

Oil on Canvas Paper - 12 x 16