Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 5: Shadows and Light - A Finished Painting

     Today we tackle the shadow side, and finish our longhorn painting.  We will also indicate the ground and an atmospheric wash for the background.
     When I teach workshops, nothing strikes more fear in my students than big shadow washes.  I think they are so pleased with their results up to that point, that it’s scary to put a “make or break” wash on your painting.
     This wash will again be our same purple mix with a small amount of earth tone color to grey the intensity down.

     Wow!  The shadow side really brings our painting to life.  Light is the life of a painting and you can see what we’ve done with a very limited (and some would say boring) palette.  Just by separating the light and dark side of our painting, we’re on our way to a successful little piece.
     The purple wash cooled my Sienna undertones, so I want to re-establish this Burnt Sienna color with one more wash.

     I want to keep the ground under my longhorn simple, but effective.  I put a random brush pattern of Sap Green with a bit of Raw Umber across the page at a slight angle.  I keep it simple and loose.  The shadow is my purple color with a touch of Sap Green added.  Then I’ve added a light wash of Burnt Umber to indicate some atmospheric dust.

     I didn’t spend a long time on the tail…. just a simple wash and some small details to indicate strands of hair.
       I have lost edges on the horns and the rump of the steer.  Without a light background wash, these areas aren’t well defined and fade into the paper.  A light wash of Ultramarine Blue, followed by a dirty earth tone (a mix of mud off my palette) finishes out the piece.

      Thanks for coming to the blog and participating in the demonstration.  I tried to keep this painting simple in many aspects.  But you can see that with a handful of colors and a simple composition, we have pulled off a nice little painting.  If you’ve got something you would like to tackle, I’m asking for input. 
     I suspect we have a lot of beginners, who are hesitant to speak up, but I encourage you to let me know what is giving you problems, and we’ll work on it.  

All contents and images © Mark Kohler Studio.     

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