Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bring on the Green

Here's the latest from the Beata/Abi addition to the series.  I can be very rough and intuitive, but occasionally I do stop and make some conscious risks.  I began the painting with violets and ochres instead of conventional flesh tones, and kept warming things up with pinks on top of that. The painting was needing highlights, and my first impulse was to keep going with a lighter pink in the highlight for naturalistic skin tones.  I paused and thought, "what's the fun in that?"   With the colors left on my palette, I mixed up cool mint which would add maximum contrast, hoping this would bring out the volume, and it worked.   Though I've discovered this color logic over the years on my own, it is essentially a very old idea stemming from Venetian painting, where color, not value, is relied upon to create the illusion of volume.  Reflecting further, I am struck by a little more irony and contradiction built into this series:  I began by riffing off of Leonardo's imagery, which is essentially Florentine and his methods are Florentine, relying chiefly on value.   By all accounts, though, my methods are direct and Venetian.   It's a conceptual flaw, but I think I'll just keep going regardless.

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