Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Mathematics Of Nazimova

Right. Yesterday I painted the colour study for the portrait I'm working on, The Mathematics Of Nazimova. Here it is:


I've made this beauty look a little over 70 without a wrinkle in sight! But ho, the point of this pic is to set the colours used in the underpainting. I had to choose a background similar to the flesh because in the old photo her face blends into the background. To solve this, I added a landscape but turned it upside down so that the sky is at the bottom. That fitted things quite well because, if you remember, there's an onion there that is a hot air balloon.

The colours are naples yellow (that is chromium titanium oxide, not the "genuine" lead based one) and white, fading to mars violet and black. Cobalt turquoise for the blues. The greens are cobalt and naples, or cobalt and nickel titinate yellow. Those two yellows are my favourites. I sometimes use others, but I could and often do paint just about everything with the two titanium based yellows.

I began on the face of the final painting today. I expect it'll take three days for this stage and the same to glaze.

I'm working very efficiently at the moment because I've discovered that the value is the process. The secret of success is to try, and to work hard, and don't attach any emotional significance to results. Make a plan, and have the discipline to stick to it. The more work you put in, the more you'll get back. That's it.

2 comments :

Kathy said...

I'm lovin' this painting, Mark!! The inverted land/sky is a brilliant stroke and her expression is perfect. Also, I wholeheartedly agree with your approach to artmaking - it matches my own!

Mark Sheeky said...

Thanks Kathy. This is just a colour test reall so the expression was a quick 30 min job. The actual underpainting took about 12 hours and will need at least another layer yet. I'm unhappy with so many aspects and inaccuracies... that's a good sign!