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Old 03-19-2003, 11:32 PM   #1
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Preparatory color study from life




I chose to post this here because I feel this is a very valid exercise to practice as well as a necessary part of my painting procedure. Since I am spending the time to do this I want it located in an area that it can be easily found.

Getting life like complexions depends on many factors. Bouguereau whose portraits are amazingly life like is a good case in hand. Although his complexions are life like his color is not realistic. I
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Old 03-20-2003, 12:39 AM   #2
Will Enns Will Enns is offline
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Marvin,

Quote:
Flattery will get you everywhere. Here is the explanation you ask for.
Had I known flattery could generate such good information, I would simply have flattered myself and written those wise words of yours myself. (laugh here.)

Thank you for that very detailed description. I've heard much talk of color studies, but didn't know what one looked like, or just how to generate one.

I find your comment especially revealing that Bouguereau's skin tones looked so realistic even if color was not accurate because he maintained consistent color relationships throughout the painting. I suppose this is the same reason a tinted photo can be colored wrong but still appear correct within its own framework. (?)

Would it seem reasonable to take notes on the colors used for each of the color notes?

When you work on the final, do you always have the study at hand?

I hope you will consider photographing one of your studies next time your color camera is out. I'm sure I am not the only novice who would like to see one. The reason I think this important is we novices often get distracted by detail not related to the task at hand.

Thank you again. This is very helpful, and your time is not wasted.
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Old 03-20-2003, 08:50 AM   #3
Leslie Ficcaglia Leslie Ficcaglia is offline
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Marvin, thanks for taking the time to explain this. I had wondered how you proceeded with your color studies as well. May I join Will, flattering as diligently as I know how, in asking that you try to post a color study? You are welcome to include as many caveats as you like but it's exceedingly difficult for me, and I'm sure for many others, to grasp how you go about this without some visual cues. The mental picture I've developed from reading your description may be dead-on or may be totally off-base.

I also wondered how detailed you made your studies, since so many of your touches are quite subtle and would need either a photographic memory or eons of experience were you simply to add them to your finished painting without an excellent color model to work from.
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Old 03-20-2003, 10:45 AM   #4
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Coming soon

I will shoot a color study when I complete and photograph the portrait I am currently working on, hopefully by the beginning of May.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but to really appreciate what any artist does, you need to see it done in person. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had seen all of John Sanden's books but didn't "get" it until I saw him demonstrate live. I don't use his approach but I learn from everyone.

Will,

I don't take notes because I use very few colors and I know exactly how I mix each color on my painting. They are as follows. For flesh:Light Red, Indian Red, Yellow Ochre, Titanium and Flake Whites, Ivory Black and Raw Umber. These are the colors that Paxton used. This pretty much covers the entire gamut of skin tones that appear in natural daylight. For more chromatic skin genuine Blockx Naples Yellow and Vermilion can be added modestly.

As stated prviously by me, IN MY OPINION, I don't agree with what I call the Baskin Robbins palette, 30+ colors. It's confusing and hard to control especially for unseasoned artists. Paxton who I consider the greatest colorist used about ten.

Yes the study is always propped up in sight, near my canvas.

Leslie,

My studies are not very detailed. A lot of what ends up in the final painting is a combined result of life time from my sitter and my previous painting experience.
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Old 03-20-2003, 01:34 PM   #5
Will Enns Will Enns is offline
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Ah, Marvin,

If it were possible, I would be your next dead horse, and you could flog me to your delight. Oops, I meant to say I would be in your next workshop.

Alas, I am 5 hours from Vancouver, the nearest pot of humanity that is likely to contain a teaching portrait artist of significance. Hopefully I will be lucky enough to discover otherwise.

About the effectivness of this Forum (on which you commented elsewhere), I must disagree with you. I could never have gained the understanding or made the progress I did without it. Your very own comments and examples have made a substantial contribution to that progress. Although I've never thanked you before, I do so now.

I do recognize this Forum can never replace direct exposure. But it can prepare us for one by plowing the dirt where you or your peers will plant your seeds. (Forgive the earthy illustration.) It can even protect us from bad instruction by establishing a basic understanding of concepts we might never have been exposed to otherwise.

Until I can get to one of those workshops, I shall continue to be a sponge here (an activity some people consider me well suited for.)

I look forward to seeing that color study.
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Old 03-20-2003, 02:59 PM   #6
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Hear here!

Will,

In no way am I attempting to denigrate or belittle the tremendous resource and helpful commodity that the Forum had become. Not to mention a terrific source for entertainment as well (watch Marvin dig himself out of another hole.)

Obviously looking at the works created by people such as yourself, there is dramatic evidence of growth. All I am saying is give peace a chance (oops! wrong forum!) All I am saying is one demo is worth a million words.

I'm not interested in flogging you (not my thing.) I'm only trying to point out the shortest distance from here to there and not the fact that you can't get there from here!

It's in the mail!
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Old 03-20-2003, 03:16 PM   #7
Will Enns Will Enns is offline
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That's all true, Marvin, but I wanted to hear the lion purr.
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Old 09-02-2003, 10:24 PM   #8
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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well?

I agree, where is it?
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:23 AM   #9
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Waiting will fill!

I am a man of my word, at least when I remember what I said. This was recently brought to my attention. Sorry for the delay, but better late than never!

Anyway here are two examples of color studies from life. The first one was painted last winter. It's a color study demo I did for CSOPA. I worked on it for about an hour and a half.

The second was a one hour study I did in preparation for my portrait of Edward Cardinal Egan. http://www.fineartportrait.com/egan_painting.html
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