Letting the Mood Lead the Painting

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;

  • Mysterious
  • Dangerous?
  • Rich
  • Surreal
  • Ethereal

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.

 

Sketch for Delilah
Sketch for Delilah

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.

DelBlog2

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.

Delilah by Diane Eugster
Delilah by Diane Eugster

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s