This post is introducing a new integral part of my blog of works in progress. The process of making the art is almost more important to me than the finished product. In fact, after I've completed a piece, it's common for me to hate it for quite some time. I don't always have a plan for the exact look/composition of the piece, major decisions are made along the way. One of the major decisions is color choice. We see flesh color and think...hmm...some kind of tan with pink should work for a flesh color. But think about it. The color of blood is red/blue/purple. Then layers of skin which is not an intense pigment itself, but layers and layers of translucent material. When creating flesh on a painting, in order to achieve the depth and appropriate color/shading, I must use layers. With anything, clothing, sky, trees, etc, there has to be depth of color. For me, using color out of the tube is never appropriate. Black is never just black, there is another tint to it.
The above image is a painting I just started. The concept might be a little too heavy, but I'll do a separate post about that : ) This is just to show the process of layering. I mix a "flesh" color and place it on the canvas where I think the body will go. Then I create the undertone, because that first color I mix will not be deep enough to pass off as skin, and go over the area of skin. For this painting I decided to go predominately violet for the shadows of skin, so that's where I start. Then I add white mixed with turpentine so that it's almost like layers of translucent skin on top. Also, notice that the dress is black, but there are other colors in it too, right? A little green, a little violet. This doesn't let the object get too flat and cartoon-like. More to come as this layer dries and I add another : )