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Old 01-13-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
Clayton J. Beck III Clayton J. Beck III is offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Oak Lawn, IL
Posts: 100
Clayton's figure work - color

I have the advantage here at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago of working with the figure under a north skylight. The effect that the light source has on color is absolutely necessary to understanding. Being able to use color effectively will require this evaluation.

The artificial lights which claim to replicate daylight are either lying or color blind. While the artificial lights have an invaluable use and are adequate in the vast majority of situations, nothing can do for your color study what natural light can. When I do my studies for color I first evaluate the type of day I will be working under. What time of year is it? How high will the sun get? Is the light going to be steady? Will a change in weather change my light? How much painting time will I have before the light is changed too much to continue?

From there I have the inherent difficulties with figure work. How long will I have this model? Do I have fidgeter? What drawing problems will contend with? How am I going to deal with the new tattoo that is so proudly presented to me? Ughhh!

When all that is settled, I choose a very specific aspect of color to study. Perhaps temperature or intensity or maybe the effect that working in a limited part of the value scale may have on color mixing. What about the effect that working thicker or thinner or even transparently has on color. There are many types of color study that are possible. I never sit there and say to myself I just want 'good' color. Not nearly specific enough. This is a study where I combined a broken color study with a temperature study and came up with this. A natural pairing in my mind but you may see things quite differently. Maybe transparent shadow and opaque lights (a favorite in the past)? What about a setup that is all earth colors and a punch of a pure color (popular with most painting school at one point or another)? How about pure color painting where all mixtures are made with paint almost as it comes out of the tube?

Color is such a delight when it follows a pattern of thought.
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