Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry's development, which I forgot to post about!

What can I say?  I was hungry!
Anyway, I wanted to talk a bit about how Harry's portrait evolved.  I had a brave idea last night as I was going to sleep, to push the warm, even red, into Harry, while keeping the background all in blues.  Red is scary.  It's a very powerful color.  A little bit goes a long way.  But, it's the color of blood, which we're all full of, and which does sort of glow through our skin, and even through hair and fur, in certain lights.  I felt like, if I could keep control of it, it would be a great way to separate Harry's darkness from the blue sea and sky.  So, this morning, I went in with a mix of cad red, and burnt umber, into all the darkest areas, which is what you see here.

I really wanted his darkest areas to be dark-dark, so I used a mix of payne's gray (a very dark greenish-gray) and the burnt umber in those areas, layering up with cool and warm blues, more red, even some raw sienna and naples yellow.    In the finished portrait, the red doesn't show as red, really, but it's there, warming the shadows, and fading into the highlights.  I'm pretty pleased with how that worked out.

I thought it might be fun to see him in this red stage, to compare with the finished painting, so there ya go.

Now, really, I'm off to go flop on the couch with the fur-people.  Have a nice evening!


  1. You did too post about this! I thought it was fascinating--and to see the end result with no red obvious, I wondered about that--does it sort of just give vibrancy to the visible top color, or what?

  2. Gee, I should read my own blog! lol!

    Yes, I think that's what happens. The light goes through all the layers, and bounces back according to the interaction of all those colors. I'm poorly remembering the physics of this. Maybe someone else can tell us more clearly?


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