Feb 8, 2015

#12- Hard Knocks, A Fast Portrait Study With Intense Color

#12- Hard Knocks, 6x6", MDF Board
With this, my 12th small painting, I decided to revisit the idea of intense color used for flesh tones, but also to modulate the tendency to just go with whatever happened to be on my palette at the time, which last time was a big old blob of French ultramarine.

This is from a mugshot I found online, and the likeness is changed.  I loved the chiseled planes of this man's face, and his world weary expression.  Portraits are my first love, so I am sure I will keep using this subject for many of these paintings.  This one took around two hours, start to finish, not counting the time needed to gesso or tint the panel.

This time, I tried balancing a warmer magenta with pretty intense Thalo green.  I also used a bit of cadmium red, medium when I needed further warmth.  So, this was a limited palette, but not my usual limited palette. 

In case anyone is interested, here is the palette for this one:

Thalo Green
Ivory Black
Titanium White
Cadmium Red, Medium (a touch)

I painted it on a panel that was lightly tinted with burnt sienna.

I like working with limited palettes, and have possibly relied too heavily on my normal one, which is a kind of modified Zorn palette.  What that does is give me a lot of control because I get how one color will mix with another, and how the mix will appear next to other mixes from the palette.  Maybe that's good, but maybe that's keeping me reliant on only a few colors.  Someone once told me I seemed allergic to blue. I might be.  Not sure.

I am totally okay with using black.  Some people like to mix it themselves, controlling the temperature and color within it.  Since I'm self taught, and also allow myself to do whatever seems to work for me, I am pretty good at disregarding theory and discarding any hope of becoming a purist.  That's my excuse, anyway.

My regular palette for working with portraits is:

Cad Red Medium
Ivory Black
Titanium White
Yellow Ochre
(+Naples Yellow because I'm lazy)

The mix of black and white gives a mostly convincing blue relative to the warmer tones, and the green you get with the yellow ochre and black is highly workable too. 

Possibly too much information. 

(Hard Knocks is priced at $60, including shipping.  For inquiries, please email me.)

1 comment:

  1. This is truly exceptional! The colors are wonderful!!


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