Mission Statement

This is a blog in which I intend to reach my goal to draw/paint a thousand faces! Welcome, and come along for the journey!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Creating A Harmonious Background

Faces#599 and #600, continued
Some of the choices an artist makes earliest in a painting, may be the same choices they need to follow through with until the end. This seems particularly true when it comes to color and setting an overall tone to the piece. For no other reasons than the characters I drew seemed to have a particular vampish edginess about them, and because I was looking to buy a gazing ball for my front yard; I chose to go with a violet for the woman's dress. (laughing) Now, there. is a whimsical reasoning for having done something! But the ensuing subsequent choices are all based on solid design principles that will correspond to the violet selection. That begins with choosing a cooler gray for the man's jacket, a lilac shirt. and so on.
 In selecting a background, in order to get a desired level of harmony, I stay the course of my earlier selections. I choose to lay down a predominant background color of red violet because it will play well with both the warmer skin tones, as well as the crazy dress color. The pastel is lightly scumbled on to the page so as not to fill the tooth of the page too quickly.. Then, it is smudged in and randomly blended into some of the edges of the characters to get an area of "natural" looking coverage. If you were using a wet medium, I would say you could just apply the paint layer unevenly so it doesn't look as if it is a solid but rather gentle value shifts of the same hue flowing across the canvas.

For the next step, I scumble in some light blue randomly here and there just so there are some pops of highlights in the background. I only blend in the harder lines of the light blue to soften the edges of the application. Next, I do the same thing with a dark blue. For a wet medium, you could work both the dark and light blue into the red violet with a wet into wet technique for the best blending of the splotches because thus far, we have stayed pretty much on one end of the color wheel for the background.

Now, if you are using a wet medium, because we are going across the color wheel, I would recommend your canvas be dry and the use of some mediums to float the color. For pastel, I use a light hand to scumble on a cheddar orange color: careful not to muddy up the background and keep the color from mixing with previous layers.

Finally; I add into the corners and some other random areas, the same color I used for the man's tie. This is done for harmony, and to unite and shift the focus of the background to the subject. The subjects should seem to belong and fit with the background choice with respects to both value and color, as well as ambiance!
This piece is still not finished, and I have a way to go. I may post with some new faces before updating this one.
 Until next time, take care!