Did Bougie work Alla Prima? Because, if he didn't, and you're trying to copy the effect he produced......... well, it might work, but........
You don't have to use high chroma paints to change your temperature/values. Try getting in there with more yellow ochre etc. instead.
As well, some people use something like Naples yellow instead of more white to avoid this issue.
The best way for us to give any more specific advice though is to see what you have been attempting.
And if it helps, you're not alone in having had this issue
Figure this may help you,
This is Bouguereau's palette as best experts can tell from x-rays, chemical analysis, and notes.
Of course, some colors changed over the course of his career, but this is a good approximation of those he used most frequently.
• Naples Yellow (lead antimoniate)
• Chrome Yellow, dark
• Cobalt Blue
• White Lead
• Light Vermilion
• Chinese Vermilion
• Mars Brown (iron oxide); this available from Lefranc & Bourgeois
• Van Dyck Brown
• Burnt Sienna
• Ivory Black
• Genuine Rose Madder, dark
As for your chalkiness issue...
try thinking of white as a cool color.
Thus, you need to use it sparingly in the highlight.
try to favor more yellow, or at the very least surround the white with warm colors so it takes on their appearance.
The highlights in the face you mentioned are very similar to a color I use called Nickel Titanium Yellow Light by Rembrandt.
I use it as a substitute for white in the warm areas so as to keep them warm.
Then if I need it, I bump it up to white.
- Dan Dos Santos
using canvas or board?
alla prima is done in one sitting dude, so if youve figured out everyother thing in the painting ( ie colours tones drawing blah blah) then you might have to spend some time on the same piece to get it where you want it. ere go it is not an alla prima piece.
thought i might point that out to yah
please get a photo of said study for our reference if possible
That Rembrandt color Dan mentioned is just zinc white with a touch of bismuth yellow (PW4, PY184). It's convenient, but you could mix your own with any white and high chroma yellow, like a cad or hansa lt. When people talk about using higher chroma pigments in the lights, that's exactly what they mean. The thing to remember is that it just takes a smidge to tint the white.
Note that Boug probably didn't use any pigments near that high chroma even in the lightest lights. They're probably just white and YO or Naples, with maybe a touch of red.
One more thing:
When you're mixing colors, treat every value as a separate mixture. Don't just lighten the local.
Geniune Nickel Titanate Yellow is PY53. I have it from Grumbacher's Pre-Tested brand, and it works well in skin tone mixes. Sort of a pale yellow ochre. You could certainly approximate it with other colors, but it's nice as a single pigment.
The main thing I would say about Bougeureau is to try and look at the origianl painting, or any substitute, in person. Photos have difficulty showing all the subtleties of tones.
Ah I see. I will try to post my progress soon. Elwell, right now my color mixing method has 2 main piles/pools of color: darks and lights. I just keeping adding colors to those pools and white if needed. You mean to say that I should mix every value change seperately and from scratch instead of just add to what ever I previously mixed on the palette?
Hunchback, its on board. Ampersand gesso board. It's really great.
How cool is this: William Adolphe Bouguereau is an anagram of WOOPEE! ALLELUIA! I'M BAD GURU!
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