Peering Over/Looking Back, pt 3. ground and some lights
February 10, 2012
now that the drawing has been transferred onto canvas, i just cover the whole thing with a slop of rusty red. you can use any colour you like for this, the trick is just to make sure it’s sufficiently transparent that you don’t totally obscure the drawing. i often use a colour that is the opposite of what most of the painting will end up being– so in this case, a red ground for a largely green painting. i learned that trick from my friend Leila who would paint an entire painting in exact opposites first, then re-paint the whole thing in the final colours. so for a red shirt, she’d paint it green first, then later paint it red. the result is a really great luminescence and sort of twinkly, alive feeling to the painting because you get a bit of the compliment of peaking though. it’s almost like an optical illusion that confuses the eye. it’s much like the opalescence you see on the inside of a oyster shell. i’m way too lazy to do it as meticulously as Leila, but i’m going for the same end result.
so with this first assault on the canvas, just broad applications of reds and greens. it looks awful and gutless, but it makes for a great foundation on which to build.
here you see the reds/greens (or warms/cools) starting to build a sloppy kind of colour mesh. i’m adding really moderate lights and darks with the greens and leaving the mids as is. maybe a couple very obvious white highlights- just to trick myself into feeling like i’m making more progress than i really am. they’ll all eventually get more or less painted over, and then replaced later.
next time i re-inforce a lot of what was shown here, gradually building up contrast and texture, and beginning to introduce some colour.