View Full Version : Life painting - materials and techniques?
April 13th, 2007, 02:40 AM
Hey everyone, i haven't posted for a while...been busy, whats up?
Anyways, im attending a few life drawing drop in classes right now. 1 of them contains 3 half hr poses in the last hr and a half. I want to do some life painting. I have never done this before, only drawing. I paint alot, mostly acrylics, i am thinking of using acrylics for this.
I would like someone's imput who has done this before, what sort of pallette should i use for painting fast, pretty much a portrait or a figure painted in a half hr, should i stick to black and white...i wanna move quick...mostly blocking in shapes and form i would assume. What sort of materials would be best for this type of work, some advice would be appreciated??
April 13th, 2007, 03:17 AM
It takes some practice, but just treat it the same as you would any old paint sketch. Keep in mind the time limit and move quickly. Loosely sketch out the figure with thin paint, and then paint over. Earth tones are great for mixing skin tones; Cerulean blue, Rose, Veridian and Lemon Yellow are some nice colors to have onhand as well.
note: Mix skintone left on your palette for painting hair; otherwise you'll probably end up with something that looks like a wig.
April 13th, 2007, 03:23 AM
Haven't done painting myself, but you can check out some really good paintings Chromosome's sketchbook thread. He uses oils, but I suppose you could learn some none the less, or ask him.
Here's the link in case: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=83802
very cool thread.
hope it helps out mate, cheers!
April 13th, 2007, 04:29 AM
I don't know for acrylics but you could try using the Zorn palette.
Limiting your palette for this might be a good choice.
( it's : Titanium white, ivory black, cadmium red and yellow ochre if i remember correctly )
April 13th, 2007, 07:51 AM
Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I have done very little figure painting from life. But this worked well for me: have a range of skin tones mixed up before your model gets in a pose. You will not want to waste any time mixing colors while he or she is in front of you. Once you start painting, the color of those pigments matters much less than the value. So, you can start with a range of realistic skin-tones, or you can start with a range of absurd pinks and greens if you want to.
To get "realistic" skin tones, try mixing dabs of various colors into white.
April 13th, 2007, 11:33 PM
Thanks guys, anyone else would be appreciated...
Also, what sort of paper would be good for this?? Cause i don't wanna be buying/bring canvas panels and stuff every time.
April 14th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Oil tends to eat through paper so if you want the results to last its good to prime it with some gesso or acrylic first but any old paper should do. Maybe go for some cartridge watercolour paper its thick, relatively cheap and comes in large sizes.
April 14th, 2007, 10:22 AM
Fabriano would also be good I think. Thick and it usually doesn't warp as much when it gets wet - acrylics work pretty well on it.
April 14th, 2007, 12:37 PM
If you're using acrylics, then a canvas sketchbook is really useful. But I would just buy 3 canvases (16x20~) each time- it's not expensive and you can always paint over if you're short on cash.
April 16th, 2007, 01:14 AM
Hey guys, thanks...
I picked up some 14 x 17 Bristol board. I think it should do, i want to stay sorta cheap, its gonna go fast. I also think im gonna stick to value sketches with acrylic. Just using black and white. But with a tonal range of values. Since no one seems to really know much about this, i will read some books on life "painting"
Thanks guys! Feel free to keep posting.
April 16th, 2007, 02:18 AM
I've done life painting before in my Studio Painting classes.
I've always used paper myself for quick studies. But I use specific, cold-press Illustration board in a big sheet and cut it up into little sheets. It seems to work alot better than Bristol for painting purposes but Bristol is O.K. too.
For acrylics you are going to want...
Large flat brush for covering a large area quickly
Medium round brush for large details (shadow areas and the like)
Small round brush for small details (line work, highlights)
Your colors already laid out, do this earlier in the session or before
A few different water wash jars for your brushes as you'll be (hopefully) changing color/technique for each painting
Start with a loose gesture sketch. Don't worry about the lines, the great thing is you can't paint right over them or just include them into your total work! Whatever you want. That's what I love about painting. Put in some fleshy midtones on the larger bodyparts taking note of the form based on the model and your gesture drawing. You can use this time to help build up the forms as well. Start laying down your darks and highlights to further pull the forms into "3-dimensions". Make sure to pay attention to how light is hitting the model in an ambient setting like a studio room. Light tends to hit from the front and back and also have an ambient light reflecting off of walls and the floor that is a different color. Don't worry about blending or any kind of advanced chiascuro shading. You are going to want to focus on getting your proportions correct and "popping" the forms of the figure out from the background more in the time you have all while maintaining the "feel" of your original gesture and the pose the model is in. Save your deep shadows for last and hopefully you'll have a nicely rendered (painterly style) figure.
Another fun thing to do is to start with a mid-dark underpainting (do this before the class) on your boards and then do a gesture with a slightly lighter value. Then paint entirely in highlights and use the mid-dark as your middle tone. Add shadows and you have an interesting difference than just starting with a light background.
April 16th, 2007, 12:16 PM
That's pretty much the amount of detail you are going to get with a limited time such as a half hour pose. That is unless you purposely practice speed painting all the time.
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