Thursday, May 30, 2013

Saving the Bones III

Moonlight Madness

Thinking about the house up on the hill, with the scary old people in it, I wondered how much more scared I would have been, age 7, to see it in moonlight. That though offered a new direction.

Here's a re-cap of where this has been, starting with Lhermitte's original pastel.

This is where I'd left it on Tuesday---a reasonably sunny day. Now, in order to get to moonlight, I needed to unify it with a cool tone. Out came the trusty ultramarine, used transparently, and a 2-inch brush. Aside from getting muddy, it certainly was cooled down. I quickly wiped out some of the lights to adjust them for the moonlight value scheme.

It still isn't moonlight. Aside from anything else, it has too much local color. This means there is too much of the actual color of the objects rather than the color they would appear to be in moonlight. Though a patch of grass is a different color in shadow than in sunlight, the blades themselves nonetheless remain exactly the same color.

I had a lot left to do, and I needed to do it tout de suite, for the surface was awash in Liquin which would soon begin to set up.

I strengthened some of the value relationships, as well as selectively wiping off some of the ultramarine. I monkeyed for a bit with the front (lit) side of the house, deciding to leave it until all is dry.

The stopping point for today is below. It's half way to moonlight. It's a tricky thing is to determine not only the exact values but exactly how much local color to leave. On a true moonlit night, there is no color at all. Yet artists like George Inness often left some of the local color, perhaps fearing the effect would be too icy if he didn't.
I'll need to decide that tomorrow.

The wet manipulation of the last layer has left some accidental textures which are somewhat suggestive of pastel. And Lhermitte's painting is a pastel. 

Go figure.


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