Monday, December 28, 2015

Creating A Painting

When creating a figurative painting, I often work with reference photos that I take myself. I never know when I will encounter a something that peaks my interest, so I always try to have a camera handy. (Easy to do now with cell phones.)

At the mall one day, I encountered these two playing chess. I stopped and watched for a while, intrigued by their deep immersion in the game. I was also intrigued by the age difference, making them unlikely pals. Here is the progression of the design and composition of the painting.

I liked the older man's pose in this photo,
but I liked the younger boy's pose in this one.

I combined the two, removed the color and posterized 
the image so that I could easily see the simple value shapes.

The background was problematic and detracting. I needed to create a space that was theirs; a place where they meet to share their love of the game. I created two value sketches to try out different backgrounds.

The first sketch shows the two players oblivious to the busy 
sidewalk setting but it wasn't quite what I had in mind.

Better. A quiet, early morning match, just the two
of them...and some pigeons.

Now to explore color options; a small color study will give me a roadmap to follow while I am painting. I knew I wanted a muted, neutral palette and I knew I wanted blues and violets as the dominant colors, so it wasn't hard to come up with an Analagous Blue Violet + Complementary Yellow color scheme. 

NOTE: Analagous colors are 3-5 colors on the color wheel that are right next to each other. In this case it would be Blue Green / Blue / Blue Violet / Violet / Red Violet. I used Raw Sienna for the Yellow Complement.

Small 5x7 color study

Here's the finished painting. I want the viewer to feel as if 
they are rounding a corner and discovering this scene as I did.


"The Challenger"
artwork size 19 x 26"

To view other artworks in this genre, click here.

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