A Piece of Me #15 oil on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.
Underdrawing for A Piece of Me #15.
The original photographic image which was cut up into 64 sections for rendering separately contained a horizontal background swathe consisting of groups of small tourist figures receding into the far distance. So there ended up being five panels containing these figural groupings as well as the architectural backgrounds behind them. Because of the need to employ a sliding scale of finely tuned (gray) values to describe these distances, rendering these panels (in any medium) is proving to be one of the most challenging tasks of this whole project.
This panel then was no exception. I worked on it yesterday and a few hours today. In general, I’m happy now with the hues and the values that have been established. The distance reads well enough. There is a red/green complimentary colour contrast, too. I’m posting it now as a beta version. After it dries I intend to clean up some passages that became muddy. When that’s done (and I’m satisfied) I’ll update this page.
Another interesting challenge was my decision to change the hue for the guard-rail (that you see in front of the girl in the dark green sweater). In the original photograph it’s a bright viridian green, but since that guard-rail is the only element in the whole photograph requiring such a pigment – and because on this panel I wanted to create more distinction between the figure and the rail in front of her, I switched the hue to an olive-green. That means I’ll need to do some additional tweaking on two other guard-rail panels but that’s not a problem. Artistic license rules.
A Piece of Me #25, underdrawing.
A Piece of Me #25, oil on panel. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.
The challenge on this panel was simply dimensionality. The man’s pants and sweater were both quite dark, so it was difficult to read where the fabric folds and shadows were. Of course, I could guess a bit, given its placement relative to the whole image, but in any case, I wanted to create interest and motion there. So I introduced that in the underdrawing. See the image to the right.
Thus on the oil level I had three basic shapes to render: the ledge, the pants and the sweater. I rendered the pants in dark gray and reserved black only for the creases and deepest shadow accents. Same with the sweater, two tints of dark green accentuated by dark gray and/or black for the deepest creases/shadows. As it turns out, the buttons on his pants piqued the interest, interrupting an otherwise monovalumatic field of grey (hey, I just created a word!). BTW: those buttons were created by removing paint so as to expose the substrate rather than adding white back in on top (which I avoid whenever possible). It’s one of my pet-painting-peeves.
A Piece of Me #20, oil on panel over collage. 21 x 13.3 cm or 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.
A Piece of Me #20, underdrawing over collage..
Collage on panel. What can I say? These kinds of panels go quickly. The oil level took me just two hours. Sometimes I think I should put more time into them on the final stages but then I remember how much time I put into getting the collages right, so I don’t.
This time around I did the underdrawing slightly differently though (pictured to the right). The panel posed a further challenge after resolving the underdrawing adhesion issues that I had had earlier. That’s because I didn’t want to create a large cross-hatched value using a pen nib for the black shirt area. instead I wanted to set in a darker wash quickly and easily, plus I knew the collage with its uneven surfaces would present challenges to a pen nib, anyway. So I mixed up a thin wash of mars black oil paint and laid it in with a brush. After a few days of drying time it helped me to achieve a dark, undulating mass rather quickly.
The linen jacket to the left required the most “effort”. I put that in scare quotes because it’s actually a process of discovery which, though it does take time, does not feel like work. The reason being that because the collaged shapes did not entirely match the highlights and shadows of the jacket folds in the original design, I had to do some tweaking. In the end I’m really happy with how it turned out. It reads quite well and I think will pair nicely with its neighbours in the final assemblage.
Oil on panel, based on a watercolor study. August 2013. 30 x 60 cm. or 11 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches. You can read about the technical work-up of this piece here.
Oil on panel. Based on a watercolor study. August 2012. 30 40 cm. 11 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches.
You can read about the work up of this piece here.
Oil on panel. Based on a watercolor study. August 2012. 30 x 40 cm. 11 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches.
You can read about the work-up to this piece here.
Oil on panel based on a value study. July 2010. 30 x 60 cm. or 11 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches. You can read about the work-up of this piece here.