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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Friday, October 04, 2013

Learning from painting, "Lunch at Mildred's"

"Lunch at Mildred's" on a rough self-prepared canvas allowed for a dry brush soft pastel effect. In landscapes  the soft approach is easier than trying to do portraits on a rough surface. No wonder that commercial prepared smooth canvas and linen is advertised as being ideal for portraits.

The most important lesson is to keep from building up thick bulging strokes of paint. These ridges make shadows counter to the final shape of the face. Mixed texture gives the face multiple expressions in different lightnings. Likewise, just the smallest difference in color in any given part of the face can change expression from hope to impish mischief.

High lights are the brightest when thick and create a shadow to pop them. So thinking of the direction of light can wait until last.

Paul Cezanne was a good mentor for me because he selected hard edges and soft to create form.  Also he painted wonderful whites.

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