From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Pieta- blanket

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Today I finished part of the most recent skin painting and worked the blanket on the Pieta.

I also had to go back into her eye and redo the under-painting.  Something got warped in the translation from Krys’ face to a more universal face and I needed to rework it before I went any farther with the warmer skin layers.

It’s often hard to do paintings in stages because things look so weird in progress.  For example- hair goes last so that it truly lays on top and shows what is behind between strands.  So only a hint of hair where it is most dense gets painted in early.  This also means no eyebrows or lashes.

I’m thinking that there won’t be much more than finishing touches on the blanket.  I don’t want it too detailed.  I might zoom in on a few sections across the painting as a whole and make them hyper-detailed, but this is basically it for the blanket.   Today’s work was adjusting it and adding hints of the blue and rust-colored lines running through it, doing the ragged edges, etc.

I can’t really go any farther with the Mother’s skin without a model who has the right skin tone.  My large skin painting that has every human skin color I could find (including the same-person variations in lips, veins, knees, palms, etc.) has shown me that the absolute color middle color tends to be on tanned Latinos.  Sadly all my Latino friends in town are on the pale side.  I want the most middle, average tone and I haven’t yet found a model for it.

The prone figure is actually something harder.  I want him/her to be racially more neutral, but I want a different color from the Mother.  Paler as if ill, and also dirtier.  I guess I need to hunt down pictures of more ill people.  I think the key will be those sharp transitions- less a smooth skin tone and more bruising/reddening/yellowing where possible.  I need to look at some dirty hands and elbows too- the lines shown in a patina of dirt.

Right now the first light glaze of color over the blue under-painting looks on the yellow side and is simply flat color.  Building up I need to see a real person so I can get all the subtle color variations.  The model I used for the prone figure might actually have the basic color I need without having to fill in from another person.

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Written by marycoreymarch

March 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

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