Monday, July 23, 2012

June - Highlights in Painting

Kamal - 2.4 hour painting session
Oil paint with Walnut oil medium
Feather Mask Study - 1 hour study.  Oil paint with walnut oil medium

I found painting my friend Kamal a treat.  It was wonderful to be able to use dark tones and so much purple and blue in painting the shadows of his skin.  Kamal is a friend of mine who is a skilled woodworker and University Professor in Montreal.  He came to the session with a blazer, such is his sense of humour, to make the portrait a bit more interesting and stylized for the both of us.

Feather Mask
Light and dark, warm, cool, hot and burning.  Often as artists and people we end up getting too wrapped up with the meaning and imposed significance of things.  "Gold is known for its shine! How could I possibly portray that without using gold itself?"  Oh, wait.   Right.  We see light and colours and just like the dashes and dobs that make up an impressionist painting or the tiny ink dots that make the colours on a print out, blocks and patches of many colours build up the identity of an object.  Just an object, got it.  I didn't know if I'd be able to portray a golden look to this mask when I set out so I just jumped at it.  By keeping in mind that to portray the glint of gold I had to make certain of an intense highlight and certain aesthetic of shadow so contrast was key.   By building up the different colours it all came together.  It's just an object so paint the colours you see where you see them and stop thinking. A good lesson for any artist.

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