Painting From Life 2

The instructions given for the painting from the cast will answer here, but the hair, eyes, and local colour¹ will require different treatment when you are working from life.
The flesh and skin are pulpy and transparent, not at all like the plaster of the cast. But at the outset, think only of the main planes, painting the hair and eyes in their middle tones.
The raw umber may not give you all the depth you see, but the pure colour will be deep enough for your present purpose. Additional colours would hamper you. And it is good practice to make the best of restricted materials. When you have laid in the shadows and half-tone, the lighter and darker passages in the hair and eyes, and have translated the local colour of the cheeks, ears, mouth, and so on, into their corresponding tone value, look to the edges, against the background. Your half-closed eyes will discover for you the parts of the outline which tend to lose themselves in the background. Lose and find the outline to rid the edges of any sense of hardness, and so suggest the turning towards the planes beyond. Take care not to soften the outline away all through, or woolliness will result, and the light and solidity will suffer. While the paint of the setting as well as that of the flesh is wet, little softening of the lighter parts of the outline is necessary.



¹ By " local colour " is understood the actual colour of the part, unaffected by any modifying accidents—such as the red of the lips, the pink tones of the ear.
<< Previous page -- Next page >>