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Old 12-04-2002, 10:59 PM   #1
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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question Life setup and background




This might sound like a silly question, but once you are working in the studio from life with a suggested green drape, how do you arrive at your background?
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Old 12-04-2002, 11:09 PM   #2
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Interesting question Beth.

I think that there are several ways of accomplishing this.

The first of course is to simply paint a very simple one color background with possibly a value gradation of one or two values darker or lighter going vertically or horizontally.

If you had a more complex background that the person was intended to be sitting in, then you could go there and paint that background from life. Or, you could set up a background in the studio and paint it.

Or, more likely and much more convenient to the artist and the subject would be to take pictures of the subject against your intended background. Pull the subject in to paint them from life, and then paint the background from the photographs.

The thing is, IMO, it is not important that you paint the entire painting from life, but that you get at least some time with your subject so you can observe them and paint what you see into your picture rather than relying only on what you see in the photographs.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:35 PM   #3
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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The very reason for painting from life is the wonderful colors, edges, temperatures are right there before your eyes. If one paints from life, like most of my favorite artists throughout history, that fact, that method shows up in your work. Sargent painted on Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose for 15 minutes a day for 2 years each summer. Cameras existed then. His work would not have had the same wonderful glow had he done so.

I'd suggest Beth that you make your background and set it behind the figure and paint it as you see it. Compromise is a slippery slope.

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Old 07-18-2003, 08:58 PM   #4
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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In my workshop I talked about this very issue.

The background should be the same color/value in the studio as in your painting. Green is inappropriate unless you want a green background. The background will be evident in the shadows in particular. As I said, it's hard enough to paint what's in front of you without having to change it.
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Old 07-19-2003, 09:13 PM   #5
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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I agree completely with that.
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:11 AM   #6
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Marvin and Tim are on the money here.
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Old 07-22-2003, 12:10 AM   #7
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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In defense of myself... please note the date of my initial post!

There are artists who do use "Leffel Green" in their studios as their color without draping so when I asked this, I thought this was the norm, but have come to understand that this takes an enormous amount of experience and talent.

I think the green works lovely with the skin tones, though.
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