Friday, April 15, 2011

Contrast and Light

One of my favorite things to do with my models is to sculpt them using light. Lighting and contrast are vital to my work as it gives my portraits a very strong appearance.

Good contrast with stark values not only help you during the painting process but also to make your work stick out from across the room. The same goes with lighting, a strong direction for the light source helps to make the contrast complete. If you leave one side out you will find your work lacking that dimensional quality that you are looking for as a realist. However, it is just as important to not leave out your middle tones either, each value is important and if you go too far with one it will be noticed.

I recall when I first started drawing that my drawing always appeared gray. The details were great, but who will ever notice that? All that time spent on details yet people will walk by as if your work was never there because to them it's just a gray drawing. So I moved to charcoal and that made a huge difference, the same can be said about my paintings. I changed my palette around, making a limited color choice and using Payne's Grey as my dark value. The result: "Kerry"

"Kerry" Watercolor on Paper, 13"x17", $225.00

My friend Kerry D. Hatton posed in this piece for me. At the time we were at a banquet for my wife - she restored the Milton Easley Painting at Bluefield College Library - and the lighting in the room was low. The way the light hit his face along with the structure of his face just added up and I had to turn that moment into a painting. Good thing I already had the camera with me!

So, I hope you enjoyed today's post. Always be on the lookout for special moments in life, you never know what will lead to your next best piece!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

David Bowie, Freddy Mercury and Watercolors....

So today, I woke up with "Under Pressure" singing in my head. I love Queen and David Bowie, two of the best artists to have ever taken the stage. I love Freddy Mercury's voice stage presence and watching their "live" videos on youtube is such a breathe of fresh air from all of today's computerized auto tune rubbish and one million background dancers. I loved the charisma and presence that Freddy Mercury was able to put on and he did it without the whole Mickey Mouse club dancing behind him. Love love love Queen and Bowie!

So anyhow, onto art. I had Under Pressure on in the background and I was feeling experimental today with my art. Typically, for those who follow my work know, I paint realism and my style is tight and very little spotaneity. I like having control of the medium no matter what medium it is. Well today, while listening to Under Pressure I felt like I wanted to just leap out and try something else today and the result was - as my wife would say - powerful!

I think today's piece turned out especially well and I love the spontaneous drips, the effect of the salt and the high contrast of the face - no DETAIL!!! I love that, it is very much like my sketches that I've done of it.

Well, this piece is untitled but it is partly inspired from my Iraq series yet it is totally up to the viewer to interpret, enjoy:

"Untitled", By Jerry Frech, Watercolor on Paper, 11"x15", $125.00