For this exercise we are asked to concentrate on conveying form by exploring tonal values.
Again I struggled for a model, and after much fuss managed to get hubby to sit for me, for a short time at least and managed to get some initial sketches done.
I sat him next to the patio doors so that we had natural light on one side. Initially, as per instructions, I only put in shapes. I was using compressed charcoal on sugar paper. Using the charcoal on its side initially looking at form. The second drawing I started to look at shadows.
He was wearing a particularly bulky fleece top which was making it difficult to find the body shape and making him out of proportion, so asking him to remove this I tried another quick sketch.
I sat directly in front but low down and although I lost the feet on this one it was a little better balanced.
Trying again this time with a conte chalk I tried to get it to three levels of tone.
I have given myself an awkward pose here and there is some foreshortening in the legs which I am already struggling with at this point. When it comes to the painting I will have to make sure I get those feet in!!!!
From this point my model got bored so I had to photograph the pose to continue.
I used my left over acrylic ground from the last exercise and sketched out the figure in a yellow ochre. For some reason I started with the legs. and put them in almost completely rather than building up tones all over the figure. I think that I work in spurts. This is becoming more apparent and showing itself in different ways, this time I seem to be choosing sections of the picture to tackle individually.
I tackled the body next and then started on hands and head….eek, concentrating on the face I didn’t realise that his head was getting too big, so thanks to the fact that I was using oils, I wiped his head off and had another go.
At this point, I am enjoying the way the figure pops out against the muted background. I am tempted to leave it as it is. the tones on the clothing do reveal the volume of the human form beneath. The face and hands are pretty awful and need more work but the point of this exercise is conveying form by exploring tonal values which I think I have achieved.
I went back and added the context but lightly by scrubbing the colour on with a tissue in the larger areas. I like the outside garden done this way as it worked to suggest something rather than detail it in with a brush.
I tried once more with the hands but they just got messier and messier. The Face I tackled again with a little more colour which has helped.
Finally as the edges were messy I cropped the image to tidy matters up a bit.
So as an exercise in painting a figure using tone I do feel this was achieved, I’ve also learned more about oils as I worked, using different methods such as scrubbing the paint with a tissue and a little turps. I’ve also discovered using colours for the tones rather than just adding paynes grey or white particularly on the face and hands. The white t-shirt has lots of blue and the ochre showing through.