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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mugshot 27: Possible Family Member

OK, back in the saddle. Returned from frolicking and resettled into the routine. While I was away I terrorized my family members, pleading for photos. Most relented but said they never want to see the paintings. (!!!!!!) Thank you everyone for your forbearance, and I won't identify anybody.
Last night was the final episode of Jennifer Balkan's second figure painting class. In this second part I learned the importance of doing a loose underpainting for the values. What a difference it makes - ain't no words! This single thing allows you to keep your values in a family, which helps the image to have weight and coherence. This is the piece of information I have been looking for but I didn't know how to ask for it or even what it was. It was a very exciting class, only 4 of us , so lots of one on one help. Jennifer is funny and generous and pounded everything into our heads, reinforced with demos and our own hands on experience. A great class, great people...I should have tried to get their photos as I will shortly run out of possible family members soon.


  1. You are too funny! I don't think he looks terrorized, but maybe a little apprehensive. Your class sounds great. Don't you love it when you learn something new?

  2. This is another great one! I'm still waiting for your mug. I'll be home in about 2 weeks. Hope to "see" you then. :-)

  3. Jean, I'm curious how many separate underpainting areas went into his face. I want to guess three or four?

  4. I forgot to even say how wonderful the painting is, sorry about that. You did an incredible job!

  5. Thanks for the comments....
    Regarding the underpainting Camille, basically it's just one, maybe two.
    Using a thin wash of dark reddish brown (winsor red and viridian, but anything will do), do the drawing and paint all the dark masses, simplifying them. Keep the paint thin so it won't make mud when you paint over it. Then take the darkest body tone and mass in the darkest darks. The lighted area of the face should now be very apparent. The halftones and darks will go on top of the thin underpainting. This helps you keep the half tones and darks in the correct tonal range. ( I still find this difficult but so much easier this way.) Strongly stated values create volume and a sense of weight -- voila! I hope I wrote all that correctly....

  6. Really strong, Jean! and beautifully painted! It caught my eye immediately when I saw the thumbnail. His head sits so perfectly in the atmospheric background.