The Goldfinch is hidden. It refers to the painting done by the Dutch painter, Carel Fabritius in 1654. Also, the painting is an central part of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.
This past Saturday was a ranch visit for the Yolo Arts & Ag Project. Heading down straight on Hwy 16 from Main Street in Woodland, I find myself heading to the small farm town, Esparto. I passed the migrant camp where my son had tutored farmhand children.
It’s a beautiful farm. Came first to a pond set up with an gazebo for entertainment. After checking in and scouting around for possible places to paint, I came upon open fields with the mountains as backdrops. No matter what farm or ranch I’m at, I always go to the mountains. And with a building.
This painting is my second attempt. It worked out so much better. The weather had started cool but got up to the high 90’s after a couple hours. Yet there appeared to be thunderclouds coming from over the mountains. The clouds were in a beautiful formation.
My goal with this painting was to create distance. I particularly paid attention to color – Darker and brighter colors in the mid and foregrounds. The mountains a more grayish blues with hints of yellowish brown to create distance. Another goal was to capture the intensity of the midday sun. The building worked out perfectly for that.
Paintings based on quick sketches done during a life drawing session. The first with the model on her knees is a 5 minute sketch. The second is 10 minutes.
Great exercises to create volume with the Zorn palette. I’m thinking cylinder. Forming the cylinder with half-tones near the edges to lighter values. Again I established the light and shadow patterns in the painting. On my palette I create two piles for the light and shadow. The main color is the skin color of yellow ochre and cadmium red. White is added for light areas and black is added for shadows. If I wanted a more yellowish skin tone, I add more yellows; more reds around the cheeks, then a touch more red.
I don’t how long I will continue working with the Zorn palette. But it does help to work with a restricted palette.
In WattsAtelierOnline, I’m now in a series of videos introducing four methods of painting the portrait in color. This is the first method – Burnt umber underpainting with color.
The burnt umber pick out becomes an underpainting for the color painting. I still use the Zorn palette of ivory black, titanium white, yellow ochre and cadmium red light. Another 3 to 4 hours were spend on the color painting.
This method is great for portrait commission.
Watts had set up his palette for the 9 values of each color – grey, yellow, red, green and purple. I had not been working with the 9 values setup but only three values for the light and two values for the shadow. To extend the life of his paints, he uses clove oil. I’ve been using walnut oil and seems to working for me…but one I’ll buy the clove oil.
I started back up with the painting program at Watts Atelier Online. I just finished a series of assignments that involves painting the skull, Asaro head and a cast. Each were to be painted from a profile, three-quarter and straight view as well as painting with combination of monochromatic colors. This was the second time I have done these assignments but it had been a year ago. But to do them again was worth it all.
Here is a profile view using the burnt umber pick out method. Burnt umber is applied in mid value. Lighter values are then picked out with cotton swabs, towels, brush dipped in gamsol or even with my finger.
This painting was based on a quick sketch done during a drop in session at the Pence. I used the Zorn palette of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre, and cadmium red. In fact most of my paintings of the figure or portrait has been with the Zorn palette. I’m not quite ready to go into more colors yet.
Up for sale.
5 minute then 20 minutes and finally a longer pose for 60 minutes. Working with charcoal pencils (2B and 4B) on smooth newsprint.
I took up a challenge to myself to work on one pose for that 60 minutes. Striving for a more finish look – developing details. Before I never took advantage of the 60 minute pose…just quick 20 minutes at various angles. There’s no challenge to that because there’s no time to develop. I definitely will now work on longer poses.
My next challenge is to work on toned paper with white charcoal.