Not the best painting I have done, nor the best photograph, it has lost some of the blue tint to the painting, and the white looks cream. I had to photograph it under lights and it altered its colour, but good enough to see the exercise. For this exercise, I wasn’t to take too much notice of accurate portrayal, but the accuracy of the colour I see. I had to evaluate the tonal values of all the objects, not get too bogged down with detail, I was then to assess it against the actual object and its colour and see how close to the actual subjects I am. Ok this took me ages, I am only just getting used to the magic of acrylic, you paint one colour and it changes to something darker.
The colours I worked with were Cadmium Yellow, Hansa Yellow, Titanium White, Ivory Black, Light Magenta, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Burnt and Raw Sienna.
Its fair to say I tried hard to match the colours to the original and took my time, often I would find that my colour dried darker than wanted and had to re-do the work. I felt tone and shadow worked well.
To start I decided that I would do a Halloween picture as it was contemporary. Having recently studied Chiaroscuro paintings a Halloween Still Life would be a good way to follow on from my studies of artists such as Caravaggio and Ribera. I set up my Still Life in various ways but decided to go with the lights out and the subjects light by two different lamps, one gave a red light the other blue. This gave great colour cast on my plastic skull and equally plastic spiders and other objects. As the subject of this study was the colour I didn’t try out the colours before I did the painting, I only did positional and tonal sketching.
Unfortunately, the picture above as previously mentioned, doesn’t accurate show the colour I finally achieved but in the most part I could not 100% colour match. The white was a pain it just didn’t have the glow you can see in the photograph, although the actual painting was brighter than shown above. I unfortunately went with a solid dark background to start with and I feel it may have possibly influenced the white, no matter how many layers were applied. In future, I will have to experiment and see if I can get a better likeness from white with other under painted colours as I did with the earlier fruit picture, which I under painted with white. The next thing I had problems with was trying to get the coppered leaves to look metallic with just colour. I felt I was halfway there and pretty much got the look I wanted but again I will need to experiment more with getting that real copper glow. My colour transitions were not smooth within the painting and maybe gentle blending would have helped and more time spent on the details. The yellows were a good likeness but I had various yellows to work with, the background not totally accurate but I had difficulty matching the shadow colours. I learnt from this painting matching colours accurately comes with not just having the correct colour paints, but knowing just how much of each colour to mix together, what affect the underpainting of the picture has and the influence of the juxtapose colours. It makes me feel how little time I have left to learn my craft and wish I could shed some years.