Sunday, March 20, 2016

And now for something completely different.

Here is a tiny 6"x6" painting that I completed recently. Not really an abstract work at all, but rather a magnified view of some kind of jellyfish as seen at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. I loved this place and found it impossible to tire of jellyfish and their mysterious, fluid elegance and beauty. So in a real color departure for me, I have been painting them using a lot of the blue that appears in the backgrounds of the aquaria there. In the sea, I suppose the back ground would be black, or that the jellyfish would not be visible at all.

As I said, I never tired of the jellyfish, or of painting them so now I have embarked on a new project of blowing this tiny fragment of one of them up onto a 3 foot square canvas. This is the initial stage. I painted the canvas blue with an acrylic base and marked it off with grid for easy transfer of the design. I have located all of the various design elements and indicated their general shapes and colors. I have a long way to go with repainting the blue in oils to give it depth and character (not to mention covering up the grid lines). Then the subtle and ethereal colors of the jellyfish membranes as well as its more solid forms. I don't care, in the end, whether or not anyone will be able to recognize this as part of a jelly fish. I just want people to recognize it as a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Warm and cool colors

This is an interesting lesson in the way that warm and cool colors can affect one another. 

In this first example (oil on canvas - 14"x11") I made the tee shirt pink, since that was the true color of the model's shirt. I asked her to keep her hat on as a nice change from hair. But no matter what I did, the skin colors seemed washed out. Too much pink.

Having nothing to lose, I decided to change the shirt to a cool color. I chose blue because there is some blue in the hat and because the background was already green. The only change I made in the face was to lighten some of the highlights. It is amazing to see the difference. Now, I may darken parts of the shirt to break up that large monotonous area of light blue.