Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gail as a flapper

This was done Friday, April 4th. I decided to try using red pastel paper - and it turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Some of the skin tones I used initially went on looking quite murky. So I had to keep testing out different colours and building up layers as well as placing strokes of different colours side by side.  I used quite a few of the soft pastels for this. Some of the pastels are getting a lot smaller- but it is quite amazing that I've had them since art school. I'm thinking about buying a few more although lugging them around can be a challenge. Gail didn't really have a cigarette holder - Marvin loaned a brush for the effect. I didn't put any pastel on the background at all- just left the red pastel paper. I still think of pastels  as "drawings", not as "paintings".  I could decide to call it a painting if I did the whole paper in chalk- maybe someday as a plein air experiment? One good thing about pastels on paper is that they take up very little room in storage. I think  the extra practice of working on capturing light and shadow on the planes of the face  in pastel will be a benefit when painting in acrylics. When this was photographed, the underlying red shows through somewhat more than it does in physical reality. Nevertheless, it definitely makes it a warm pastel. Done on blue-grey paper, it would look very different. I think I'm leaning towards using darker paper - but if I was doing a baby or child, I'd probably use a warm cream colour, not "tobacco". Here, I think the red implies artificial light, maybe neon, possibly a nightclub- as well as signalling  excitement and a certain amount of drama. The colour choice of the paper was a bit instinctive after I saw the costume but it became an interesting experiment.

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