Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Medea" Work in Progress

I seem to have forgotten that I have a blog.  Thought I would update you all with a little work in progress I am currently working on.  It is only 12x12 inches so a fairly quick work for me.  It is Medea, the villain witch of Euripides' play.  I do love those enchantresses with a bad rep.

Here is the beginning sketch done in graphite on a Ampersand artist panel.

I plan for there to be roses and a moth surrounding her.  I think the moth will be there to symbolize death and transformation.

After I have the sketch drawn I have to seal it.  For this work I used clear gesso.  After it dried it gave the work a really nice surface that the paint and I both really loved.

The next step is deciding on an underpainting color.  Doing soft pastels for many years I discovered I really hate to start with a white surface.  Pastel paper is often toned to a color that helps to build up skin tones in the work.  I try to paint the work a color that will help me build the skin tone I am shooting for.  Lately I have been using a lot of crimson red tones to start with.  For this one I want her skin pale, almost frosty.  I decided to start with a sea green color.

You can barely see it in the pic, but it is a nice greyish sea green.  I remember reading an artist once saying that there is a lot of grey in human skin color, but our eyes just don't really register it.  Putting little hints of grey in there can help you achieve a more realistic skin tone.

Next I play with some drips and background fun.  I decide to go with two of my favorite colors here, sea green/or turquoise and yellow ochre.  Which will both look great with the red roses I add later.

Now to go at that skin tone.  I never have a set formula for skin tone.  I usually use some combo of white, yellow ochre, unbleached titanium white, some kind of pinky orange.  I basically just start slapping colors down and slowly add more or less of one or the other depending on what I want to achieve.  This happens in many layers.  Here is the first one:

She is a little too pink at this stage, but I like the transculent feel, which is what I am going for.  I am really liking the sea green shadow areas too.  Still need to work on her nose and mouth....not quite right.

This one was a bad pic...but I am laying on more skin tone, getting it closer to where I want.  I also have her nose looking better.  I started adding the roses also.

This last pic is where she is right now.  I am going to go to town on that moth and the roses now, but I am pretty happy with her face at this point, just needs a little cleaning up....and the hair needs detailed.  Should be done with her soon though.  Hope you like her.


Patricia Ariel said...

i like that she looks sweet and quite innocent for a murderer... there is something in your girls that is very enigmatic, Tammy. they are super strong ladies with an almost fragile aspect. and the faerie eyes add an extra enchantment to them.

Tammie Lee said...

i loved seeing the steps you take to create... create this piece. She really is wonderful, her eyes draw me in.

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