I went into figure drawing today, with the goal of focusing on painting in three passes. I’m trying to be a bit more systematic, as I’m teaching some workshops later this summer.
(I’ll be at the Urban Sketchers Santo Domingo workshop in July. Registration and info Santo Domingo Workshop).
Today’s stuff is an extension of the ‘draw the shadow shapes’ idea from last post (two down).
The idea is to mass-in a pale transparent wash filling the whole figure. As it dries, (ideally waiting until it’s completely dry, but that’s impossible with short poses), return with a stronger pigment mix for the shadow mass, and then stronger again for the contact shadows. (Contact shadows are the little ones where forms touch – like under the thigh touching a chair).
The mental guide I use is “Tea, Milk, Honey” – describing the viscosity of the pigment for each pass.
It’s a bit of a lie, as I never get quite as dense as honey, but I need some matching words. You could say Tea, Coffee, Cream, but it doesn’t make a proper set of words. In any case, the concept is you move up a grade of pigment viscosity as you go darker. When the shadow shapes are dry-ish, you can make the final touches of darkest dark and lightest light with thick creamy honey-like mixes. Almost, but not quite, opaque. I often use 60/40 gouache/watercolor at this stage.