Head Over Heals

When you try to paint from a live model, you have to work fast. I painted this nude at Park Hall in Ben Lomond during an all-day figure drawing workshop put on by my friends at Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center, where we had three, twenty minute sessions with this pose.

One of the techniques I’ve used that helps me complete a figure fast is to reduce the number of colors on my palette. In this painting I only used four colors; French Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ocher, Buff Titanium and Alizarin Crimson.

The first thing I did was to mix the blue and crimson to make my darkest hue. It’s nearly black but more harmonious since it contains the other colors in the painting. Even though the skin was not yellow, Ocher is convincing mid-value right out of the tube. I choose the toned white as my highlight since it creates a softer contrast with the ocher than a bright white would.

Lastly I added touches of the crimson to get the eye moving through the composition.


Head Over Heals, Oil on Board, 16″x20″ 2012

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