Friday, March 4, 2011

Michael - Step 3

I generally follow two simple rules when painting in oils:

Dark to Light
Back to Front

Basically, I've found that when I'm modeling a form it works out best to paint the darks first and then add the lights.  It just doesn't work as well going the other way.  This does not apply when I'm not modeling form - such as the silhouette of a dark tree branch in front of a bright cloud.  In fact, this is a good illustration of my other rule - back to front.  It is generally better to paint things that are behind other things first.  It helps with edge quality - plus, think how hard it would be to paint a tree and then try to paint a cloud peaking through each tree branch (although I do know of an artist that does this!)  Now back to the first rule - if the branches were one color but the trunk needed modeling, I would add the lights to the dark of the trunk, I wouldn't paint the trunk light and then try to paint the shadow.

In this step 3 of "Michael", I've started putting in the darks.

Up Next - Going towards the light - filling out the midtones.