Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Larger Version of Rocky Bighorn...

To see this work larger or
purchase (Click Here)

20"x 24" oil on canvas

I have decided I need to break away from
the confines of the smaller 5x7 format
for at least a little while. My habit
also being to keep my little studies
around 'till something catches my eye and
feeling it would look good as a much
larger painting. I decided on this bighorn
ram...and will use a 20"x 24" canvas. Not
huge by any means...but a decent hanging

I first set my study up next to my art
table as reference...

I'm thinking what would be informative,
experimental and fun...would be to put
to task one of Emile Gruppe's ideas of
juxtaposing an overlaying of complementary
color to its opposite color's undertone.

Allowing hints of the undertone to show
thru, thus creating some color vibration,
(color vibration...something Edgar Payne
said was necessary for good paintings).

Gruppe used to say that we don't know
just how red a red is without, for example,
the color green nearby to judge it against.

Also...Payne taught that color as nature's
light presents it is 200 to 300 times more
intense than pigment can imitate, so painters
of their day would incorporate devices such
as this undertoning to enhance color to be
that much more effective.

To ready this direction, I paint what will
end up a blue sky first with a thin turps
and orange undertoning. The eventual warm
bighorn and rock structures will receive a
bluish valuing of undertone-

Having laid that in, you can see in the upper
left I have started to dab in the finishing
overlay of sky pigment, and in this next one
a close up of more sky painted in, revealing
some of the undertone left to be seen.

How much of that undertone will actually be
left visible will work itself out as I make
decisions in the painting's progress...but
even a hint of it will add to color vibration
as well as color rhythm which then assures
unifying harmony overall-

With much of the sky having been painted in
it is time to move on to another area. It is
good to jump around. Some artists have the
habit of finishing one thing off completely
and then moving on to another, but it is
best to work the whole of the painting and
bring it to a finishing together. This leads
to better judgment of the painting working
first and foremost as a painting and a whole

That being said, I now begin to paint in the
rocks...and it takes relatively few strokes of
buttery paint to suggest the presence of the
rock. I think of course this is the contrast
of the complements that causes this sensation-

Lastly, or to end this session anyway,
I want to establish something of the
presence and statement of the bighorn
itself. I suggest some darker values to
establish depth, and color to render form-

Here then after a second night's session, only
about an hours opportunity...but getting closer
to finishing already. Note how very small hints
of blue in the bighorn are visible, which helps
connect it to the sky...bits of orange yet
visible in the sky...color rhythm happening all
over the work. An experiment in Gruppe and
Payne'ology if anything else...


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