Monday, February 13, 2012

It's all about environment

I'm working on a couple of figure paintings, both started during some wonderful sessions centered around my friend Matt's newest sculpture of the standing nude female.  I'm working on a tall painting, and I started out with a very blue-purple background.  But as I kept working, I felt like the blue was too strong, and I wanted to surround her with a more sophisticated purple.

This is not a great shot for showing color, but you can see that most of the blue has been covered, and I can now get a better sense of where I need to work on her flesh tone as well.  (Doesn't the sculpture look awesome!? If you've followed the last few posts you can see subtle changes in the pose from day to day. )  It's difficult to make a change like this on such a large scale, but it will be worth it if I can achieve the right balance between her flesh tones, the drapery, her hair, and the environment.

But that's not the only painting that got an environment make-over.

I started this back study during one of the live sessions, and added the dark red background later on.

While it was dramatic, I thought it was too obvious: like I was trying too hard to make it look sexy by painting it red.  So I went completely opposite, and tried a green.

Again, not a great photo, but I like the palette much better.  Her flesh tones are complimented by the green background, and the chair that she is sitting on is not getting lost in a dark background.

And as I continue working on the model in the garden, I keep adjusting values in the background and on the figure.

There is so much information in this painting, and each little puzzle piece needs to fit with the one next to it. 

I also did this nice oil study last week from the live model, and I love the way the environment and the figure work together.

Because it is a small painting, 8 x 10, I was able to work the environment and figure at the same time.  By keeping a limited palette of warm pinks, peaches, and purples, it helped to unify the entire piece.

And, speaking of great environments...while Matt worked on his sculpture over the weekend we both brought our kids to the studio (our very understanding spouses deserved a break!) and it was SO cute to watch our little line up of artists hard at work!

A good environment for Creativity.


Cherie said...

Amazing! You do so many things at once! The painting keeps changing and taking form.. I am loving it!

Southern Queen of the Crazies said...

Wow! I am impressed. :)