Friday, June 14, 2013

Painting a Woman in Water - Part 1 by Carmella Jarvi : Pastel Painting Presented by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff -- Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

In this segment I'm going to walk you through one of my women swimming in water pastel paintings. This is a series I'm known the best for and I've been working on this for a number of years. I love water but I love the human figure as well and it's a lot of fun to do as well.

I've started with my newsprint because you want to warm up. I've got my conte' and basically what I was trying to do was practice what my final image was going to look like.

Normally, I would come in and do a little bit of my sketching with the color of the paper - that works really well - but for the sake of seeing it on the video, I wanted to just show a few of my color so it's marked in.

You are seeing basically the way I start. I've shown you how to mount the gator foam on the board, how to pick the color of the paper using complimentary colors, how to start with my pastels over on the table so i'm ready to begin.

The whole thing about these toothy pastel surfaces is that you're just starting to lay the pastel in and you're not going to get a lot of thick pastel in until you keep adding those layers on.

At thi spoint I have the figure blocked in pretty well, I want to go ahead and not worry about details like eyelashes or anything like that. This figure is pretty small but she's big enough that I want to start suggesting the form.

Wtih everything I do you get a little bit of distortion and you're never doing an exact copy of the photograph - it's just my impression.

She is down in the water so I'm starting with her skin color. There's a little bit of her skin down here below the surface so I'm going suggest that. The whole thing about wateris that you can see into it, you can see the surface of it, the reflection of sky and trees or whatever is around, so with water there are multiple things you're looking at.

Now I'm going to come in with my brights. This is a medium value color, so I'm going to come in with my lighter blue.

I have the photo and I'm suggesting this interesting line here. The thing with water is you want to show the movement. Lay the color in with the side of the pastel.

You want to change the position of your pastel as you're working. I'm going to go ahead and let this come around where there's a nice sweeping motion. It's important when you work with a large surface of water that you look for places where you see the ripples and concentric circles. Look for those things and when you suggest them your water will look more and more like water.

If you have a tendency to go back and forth on auto-pilot, you may want to try to reduce the size of your paper or suface so you don't have as far to travel. Once you get your variety down with your marks you can go bigger.

This is why I love these hand-made pastels because I can just come in and use them on the side. If I were using an extruded pastel, I would want to make sure I took the paper off, removed the coating from the outside, and then break it in half so I don't get a regular mark.

Hand-rolled pastels have a wider center and smaller ends and that gives me a nice variety of marks.

I don't want my marks to look too much the same because there's a huge area of water here, and if they're the same then it will be a very boring painting.

Now I'm going to step back to get an overall impression of my painting.

At this point I want to darken up her hair and some of the shadows and get this blocked in right. Forget eyelashes and all those little details, especially a figure in pastel. With just a few marks I was able to suggest that is the front of her face.

If you love the figure you need to start studying anatomy and working from live models. Even though this is a photograph of a woman I work with live models a lot, and I study anatomy, and I have mirrors in my studio so that I understand the structure of the neck - especially muscle structure.

Usually you can find a figure study or art group like that to help you along further.

At this point she does look like a cro-magnon man and I'm not worried about that - it is a little hard on the ego at first when you start your pastel paintings, especially figures - but don't stress.

Paint and draw what you see, NOT what you think you see. That is some of the best advice I've ever received.

Make sure as you work that you paint all the way to the edge. This way when you frame it you won't have a halo effect.

In order to show the depth of water, I have to layer in the colors. Even though I'm seeing a lot more of this lighter color in here I want to go ahead and use this blue so that it's more uniform.

I don't want to outline her, but I do want this color to come up to the edge. At this point it's ok for me to overlap a little bit.