OCAD Studio: Figure Master Copy Part 4

Materials

Painting from Part 1

Several medium sized brushes

Oil colours including a red, yellw, blue, black and white (as a minimum)

Palette

Easel

Thinner (I recommend odourless mineral spirits (OMS)

Linseed oil

Kitchen paper towel for wiping back and cleaning

 

Process

  1. Look for the region of the painting that you want to be focal point – this will be the most detailed part of the painting and capture the viewer’s attention – usually the face is the focal point of a figure painting. Look for subtle adjustments to detailed parts like the hands, eyes, nose and mouth. The general principles of form and colour apply in exactly the same way that they did during the previous steps. You are just working at a smaller, more detailed scale.
  2. I recommend that you use one medium and a couple of smaller brushes at this stage as most of the brushstrokes you need will be quite fine. However you may want to build up the paint in some blockers areas.
  3. Use a bit more medium than in the previous stages as it will help the paint to flow and enable you to make smoother transitions.
  4. Make sure that the half tones are darker and lower chroma than the highlights as this will make the painting more luminous.

Task 8: Colour Theory & Still Life

Before you get started, go through the following blog post which discusses colour theory. When you know the basics of colour theory, painting becomes more effective (you will see why):

 

Task 8 Part 1: The Colour Wheel

 

Following on from colour theory, I will demonstrate some painting techniques for this tutorial.

This time I will be using acrylic paint on canvas.

In the demonstration video you will see me get to this point and produce the basis of a pear. What this image shows is the underpainting that I used to layer my image and this is how colour theory can come into play when you design your own art work. For this painting, I used crimson red.

Your Underpainting Has Three Primary Functions:

  • First: to create some texture, or build on the canvas.
  • Second: To put a colour underneath your painting, allowing that to impact your final work in some way.
  • Third: A way of laying out your painting to see whether all the elements balance up compositionally, and whether they “fit”.

For our pear painting, the first 2 functions are used for this art work. It helped me to create texture on the skin of the pear, and also allowed the colours to clash and sit on top of the red; this impacted how the colours blended from one to the other.

 

More on underpainting:

It’s a lovely thing to leave flashes of the ground colour showing through. You can experiment with this and have a lot of fun. Try using a colour that’s quite unexpected. If your image happens to have a lot of green, as an example, do your underpainting a luscious vibrant red. This is what is happening with your pear.

For other art works, a lovely hot pink is a fantastic colour to paint over. Little flashes of hot pink through your painting can often give it a lift it would not have had. This way lends itself to throwing chunks of colour onto your canvas, and allowing the “pure” ground colour to show through.

One of the other added benefits of painting onto a coloured ground, is that you can rough sketch in your painting in chalk. Cheap, easy to wipe off, and visible. Lots of time saved. You’ll see me do this in my demonstration.

 

Some artists like to mark out very clearly on their canvas the position of all of their elements. This is nice, but can sometimes lack the spontaneity of just hurling some paint around, and seeing where it takes you.

As your technique improves, you will become less constrained by the image you want to paint.  Throwing a rough outline of the painting at the canvas, allows you to balance everything (and here’s the beauty of acrylics) and 20 minutes later, make adjustments if you are not happy. It is all about layering and letting one layer dry to make way for the next. Mistakes can be covered up, or you can use the acrylic hue underneath to add to the next. Who cares if you have to move an object over 3 inches? It’s all part of the process, and gets you closer to being happy with the finished painting (without putting your paintbrush down). It’s also another layer of paint on the canvas to work with later on if you need to.

How do I choose my underpainting colour?

There are many colours that are traditionally used for underpainting: burnt or raw umber, burnt sienna, or ultramarine blue. Almost any pigment can be used as long as it is capable of producing an adequate value range from light to dark. Yellow or medium-toned pigments, for example, cannot do this. The broader question, however, is whether the underpainting colour should be similar to the dominant colour of the subject, or contrast with it?

 

Monochromatic Underpainting (same colour as the main image-like blue underpainting when painting water scene or skies):

  • Advantages: Recommended for those just learning the underpainting method, but also a solid choice for seasoned painters. Makes tonal studies that are beautiful in their own right.
  • Disadvantages: Initial strokes of full colour paint may look out of place against the monochromatic underpainting until more coverage is achieved-keep going and use warm colours on top to bring out a range of tone.

Complementary Underpainting (clashing colours that are opposite on the colour wheel, like red underpainting for a green pear!):

  • Advantage: Can provide exciting colour reactions as the subsequent layers of colours react with the underlying colour.
  • Disadvantages: Like the monochromatic underpainting, initial strokes of full colour may seem out of place until enough coverage is achieved

I will be using complementary colours and explain as I paint what is happening as each layer is added.

With a few extra details and a range of techniques of how to use acrylic paint, you can achieve a basic painting and progress with your technical skills in no time 🙂

See the video below to watch the live video tutorial below to learn how it is done…

Click here to watch the live video tutorial below to learn how it is done…

 

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

OCAD Studio: Figure Master Copy Part 3

Materials

Painting from Part 2

Several medium sized brushes

 

Oil paints – including a red, yellw, blue, black and white (as a minimum)

 

Palette

Easel

Thinner (I recommend odourless mineral spirits (OMS)

Linseed oil

Kitchen paper towel for wiping back and cleaning

 

Process

  1. Begin by adding the lightest value on your painting.
  2. Once you’re happy with the lightest value, clean your brush or take a new one and mix a colour for the darkest halftone. It should be slightly lighter than the shadow and emerge from the bedbug line that you established while adding variations to the shadows.
  3. Now that you have your lightest colour and darkest colour blocked in you can work progressively from dark to light, adding paint in large masses. Don’t blend too much as this will make your painting mushy and indistinct.
  4. As a general rule your, colours should get higher chroma (more saturated) as they get lighter. This enhances the luminosity of the colours. If you struggle to balance the hue, value and chroma, don’t worry too much. It will be possible to correct things with glazing and scumbling in later stages. The most important thing is that the values are correct as they will give a sense of form and 3Dness to the painting.
  5. When you’re happy with how everything looks, leave the painting to dry completely (usually about 3 days depending on how thick the paint is).

 

OCAD Studio: Figure Master Copy Part 2

Materials

Painting from Part 1

Several medium sized brushes

 

Palette including a red, yellw, blue, black and white (as a minimum)

 

Palette

Easel

Thinner (I recommend odourless mineral spirits (OMS)

Linseed oil

Kitchen paper towel for wiping back and cleaning

 

Process

  1. Start by looking for the darkest darks (most likely pure black) to the shadow shapes you sketched in part 1. The darkest areas will usually be the creases or places where direct and reflected right can’t reach. Try to keep the shadows fairly thin/diluted by mixing in some medium (mostly mineral spirits with a little oil) with your paint.
  2. The next darkest part of the shadows after the creases are the ’bedbug lines’ – the lines that separate shadow shapes from light shapes. This part of the form doesn’t receive any direct light or any reflected light making it much darker than the average value of the shadows.
  3. Once the darkest values are in, you can add progressively lighter colours to the shadows. Work from dark to light as this will help you to control the values and colours as you add them.
  4. You should notice that the areas with the most reflected light are the lightest and highest chroma parts of the shadows. In my video the reflected lights in the skin are particularly high chroma.
  5. Take time to shift the values, hues and temperatures back and forth as you try to match the relationships in the reference or your subject.
  6. Adapt your dark tones to suit the local colours of objects and backgrounds in the painting. If you have a lot of different colour drapery you may need to use purer forms of the primary colours.
  7. Once you’re happy with the dark tones, wash your brushes and palette and leave the painting until dry to the touch (at least 3 days).