Friday, April 11, 2014

Dan Thompson Color Study Portrait Demo

Before our spring break, Dan Thompson gave us a 3 hour color study demonstration. In the study, Dan demonstrated side by side on the same canvas, the two key components of form we've been studying independent of each other up until this point - form and color.

In the first stages, Dan proceeded to block in the model's head and first color notes in the same manner that we have been practicing the last 4 weeks, described in my last blog post here.

Dan painting Dan!

The first pass of color notes on left, and first planes of head in grisaille on right. 
The 3rd pass of color notes. Note the unified lights and shadows. 

After 2 or 3 passes of adjusting his color notes, Dan worked in grisaille during the model's breaks, to construct a planar head. This head, based on the sculptures we had made in our first semester, served as a guide in breaking down the innumerable color variations seen in nature, into a coherent and dimensional form.

Dan in action

The finished demonstration

By acquainting ourselves with the forms of the head in the first semester through hands on sculpture, and opening our eyes to light key and color in the second, the simultaneous demonstration of grisaille and color study brought Dan's lesson home beautifully- that every plane change is a color change, and every color change, a plane change. The better your perception and understanding of both color and form, the more intelligently you can interpret and break down form with convincing solidity and realism.

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