Saturday, November 13, 2010

oh well you can't win 'em all

hey team,
remember I told you that in the name of science and progress I was going to start experimenting with radical underpaintings in my painting studio?
This week I toned my canvas BRIGHT PINK. Why not? I've had this tube of permanent rose acrylic for years that I never ever use, and since we had a male model for two weeks in a row I suspected that there was probably a lady model coming down the pipes one of these days. I thought some pink might compliment ladyflesh well.
Well, team, consider this the first solid results of the experiment. We can now say with authority that toning a canvas in bright pink is a terrible idea.
I remember in high school, when Gordie and I were lab partners in A.P. biology, we spent our entire senior year of high school trying to grow radishes in gelatin so we could photograph root development. We failed spectacularly. We tried dozens and dozens of formulas and techniques. Nothing worked. Molds and bacterias took over our media and killed off the seedlings within 72 hours every single time. We did once accidentally make a blow torch out of a pepsi bottle during the study, and that was awesome . . . but that is neither here nor there. The point that I was eventually getting to in a roundabout way, was that at the end of the year, when it was time to present our results and me and Gordie were both dying of shame because we felt we had nothing at all to show for ourselves, after our presentation, Mr. Decker said to our class that Gordie and I had had the best project because we had found and documented 22 ways that it definitely won't work, and the world is a better place because of it.
I am loathe to even post this painting because it is bad news, but since it is part of this experiment for posterity, I will allow you to see it. Please do not judge me. This is not representative of my painting abilities.You see, team, as anyone who has taken a basic color theory class knows, all color is relative to the colors next to it. I know better than to make a flesh tone that is so bright an orange, but when that bright orange is laid down on a field of shockingly bright pink, it appears really muted. It wasn't until I had the whole thing painted in that I truly saw what I had done and recoiled in horror. SO ORANGE! Like candy . . . barf.
Also, it seems arbitrary, but blues and greens look attractive when the underpainting shows through, I don't think this pink looks good at all where it shows through. Maybe that's just a matter of personal taste, I don't know.
I accept responsibility for the unfortunate color choices, but there is some blame to be laid on the model. I've always said that females are more challenging anyway, and hands are always difficult (the mark of a true professional, as Erik Olsen always said). Those things that are hard anyway become nigh on impossible when the model doesn't cooperate. Our model this time was a sleepyhead and couldn't keep her face or hands still during the pose (unlike Santiago, who had the discipline of a samurai during his sessions). The hands came out really bad because they were never in the same place or the same light every time I tried to work on them, so in the painting she's got these poorly drawn giant mits that I'm deeply ashamed ofit still has its moments though. This knee is rather nice:So even though it's not my favorite, I still have bills to be paid, so go to my Etsy shop and buy it.

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