October 4, 2011

Beach Set

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches  Ω

Did I mention how much I prefer painting clothing than nude figures. I thought I'd take some of my new knowledge about road surfaces to try and paint a beach scene. Since I was actually at the beach the other evening, I thought a backlit figure might be nice and took a few snaps. What I liked about this one was the dark figure on a barely there simmering beach with just a hint of the sun on the very top edges of the body.

I could see it so clearly in my head. A simple plain, a dark shape and a sliver of bright white between then. Oh, how deceptively simple. I had the figure near dark walnut and that seemed wrong because then there was not enough differentiation between the back and the hair. Then I made her lighter, but then there wasn't enough contrast between the figure and the highlight or the beach. I'm not kidding, but I think I went back and forth a dozen times. And it's still not right, but I got tired of struggling.

A few things I started to notice, as with the road surfaces the other day, was the subtle colors within what I thought was one color. The blues in the flesh turned furthest away from the sun, the red reflected up from the towel. Yet every time I put a hint of that in, it looked like way too much. It really helped in rounding the figure but I just couldn't abide such shocking color. Why is that?

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