Monday, January 16, 2017

The Dancer

"The Dancer" Oil and Wax 29.5" x 53"

The Dancer -close-up

Somehow throughout all my angst over the election of our next president I managed to finish a painting. The model is a terrific young man from Chisinau, Moldova- a country bordering Romania and Ukraine.  He is actually  a championship ballroom dancer and loves our political comedy especially Saturday Night Live and Steven Colbert. This election has given us a great deal to talk about during painting sessions.

The background is a colorized 18th century print. I painted the squares on the floor- aaargh!

This painting was an experiment with a new color method- no earth tones- only pure color. I was quite taken with Katherine Kehoe's work in the December 2016 issue of the Artist's Magazine. She does not use any earth-tones or black, just pure color. So I thought I would have a go at it but keep the black.
My palette: colors left to right - all Micheal Harding except for the Vasari Cadmium red light: Cremnitz White in walnut oil, wax medium,  genuine Naples Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow, Magenta, Amethyst, Ultramarine, Viridian and Ivory Black.

I mixed up a batch of background colors to add to my batch of skin-tones. It was actually easy-peasy once I got the hang of it. As to the blacks, I use Vasari's Mars black in the first layer- it is deep, opaque, fast drying and velvety- it is best as an underlayer as it will crack over slower drying paint.
Afterwards I used the more transparent Ivory black, because it is deeper.and darker.

The ribbon on the ruff  (which took a week) was painted in pure Amethyst- a terrific new color from Micheal Harding. The highlights were painted in Cadmium Red Light.

One thing that always astonishes me is how, no matter what directions my paintings take they all have the stamp of me even if I am aiming for say- Botticelli or Manet. We cannot escape ourselves it seems, even in paint.

To see Katherine Kehoe's vibrant work:

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