"Learning to manipulate the brightness or dullness of a
color is one of the cornerstones of good painting, and, when combined
with a sound understanding of how to control a color's value,
should raise your skills to a new plateau."- Charles Sovek,
Oil Painting, Develop
Your Natural Ability (Watson-Guptill).
2. Word for the week:
Alla Prima (at the first): [John Singer] "Sargent's foundation
in painting came from his teacher, the famous French portrait
artist Carolus Duran. Duran taught his students to study nature
closely and to select just those elements that portray the essential
character of any subject. (He was always yelling "simpler!
simpler!" wrote one student). And out of this desire for
simplicity came duran's and Sargent's alla prima technique (an
italian term meaning "at the first"). Although most
painters of the day relied on underpainting and complicated layers
of glazes, alla prima offered a way to record color and form simultaneously,
"at the first" stroke. From "Paint Oil Portraits
like Sargent" by Tim Iverson, The Artist's Mag, Sept 93
3. Practice: "Learning bears fruit when it is applied."
As an exercise, do a painting that combines several objects,
some of which are bright (intense), some medium and some dull.
An example would be a ketchup bottle (bright), a wooden board
or bowl (medium) and a white or grey cloth (dull). Set up your
still life. work to get the lights and darks established within
each object and make it believable regardless of intensity. (For
example, the lights and darks in the ketchup bottle would be more
intense than the brightest part of the cutting board. You can
think of the placement of each color on the color wheel. Leaning
to vary the intensity of colors in your paintings will help
you establish depth and focus.)
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