Before I began my latest painting ” Delilah” the mood I wanted to convey was in my head. The question was how do you translate a mood into paint?
First I come up with some adjectives;
Translated into paint, I have;
Color, Red, Violet, Black, Gold, Cold Blues and Greens
Texture, Rough and Smooth paint, sharp and smooth edges
Value, High Contrast
This appeared to be a simple subject, all the more reason to do an initial value sketch. When there isn’t a lot of “stuff” in the scene, every element has to work especially hard.
This really helped me to see some areas that needed to be adjusted, much easier to push a sketch around than a painting. I could see what needed to be done to her hands, the subtle reshaping which would help the movement, making a comfortable eye path around the painting.
Why not start with a red underpainting to get the mystery started. Keeping a cool light, I washed in some Cadmium Red Medium plus Viridian green and white. The shadows were made from a mixture of Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Viridian Green. The dark accents were Cadmium Red Medium and Cobalt Blue.
Working back and forth between the shadows and light struck areas I continued around the painting, scrapping off and building up, until there wasn’t anything else I wanted to say, and it was finished.