Establishing Local Color

So the portrait is looking pretty rough at this stage. One of the reasons I got bogged down last night was trying to keep things neat (mini painting habits!) and the teacher kept telling us that messy is ok at this point, and we should be wiping out a lot of our guide stuff we’ve previously done in the drawing and underpainting stages. Just seems counter-intuitive.


The other reason it was a slow session was mixing from primaries! That was something completely new to me, as was mixing with a palette knife. So first developing the physical skills to actually mix the paint and then come up with accurate mixtures was really difficult. On the other hand, it was very rewarding as I learned a lot about color mixing, even if it was just the very basics. And I didn’t mix up enough of his hoodie’s local color and had to remix that and match it to my previous mix. Pain in the butt, yet still a useful lesson for a couple reasons – 1) mixing to match a previous mix and 2) make enough for the entire application the first time!

I ended up mixing a total of three skin tones, the 1st came out too yellow/dark (kind of an ochre, I guess) and the second too rosy. The upside is that I was able to use these as secondary mixes for variation and the rosy tone became the lips.

Ran out of time to do the shadow tone local color, which really sucks because I wasn’t able to blend it into the lighter skin tones, so that will be a mess next week. 3 hours is not a long time to paint (and get instruction)! Also a lot of the weird look at this stage is that I painted over some of the detail shadow areas because I was going to mix them back in when I did shadows. Which means…I’ll probably have to match that flesh tone again next week…


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