I have now moved into the first painting stage of my still life. I have talked about first painting before, but not for the new people who are following the blog; so for the long time followers reading, skip to the bottom paragraph that I wrote just for you about things that piss me off in case you ever find yourself at my home*. Anyway, I have started to break down the gas mask and other elements into planes of broken color. I always try to begin this stage by establishing my lightest lights (minus highlights) and darkest darks first in each object I am painting. Remember the ebauche should already be the average middle value of the object, so its easy to push and pull. This then allows me to see the value range I am working within. I am trying to hit the color and shapes as closely as possible so the setup and the still life appear optically the same from 6 feet away (more or less as I try not to be a slave to the setup). I avoid small details at this point. In order to match colors at this stage, I simply do a "guess and check" system. I mix a color, hold that color up to the setup, then decide if I need to change the hue, chroma, or value of the paint. I adjust accordingly until it looks correct or I get lazy. I have gotten some emails over whether or not I use the Munsell system when painting. I prefer not to bother as I subscribe to the "make it look good" stance on painting (plus the Munsell book costs 600 bucks), but I will say that watching people debate the utility of the Munsell system vs. other systems is nerdier than watching two obese teens argue whether Star Trek or Star Wars is better. This is my response.
* Ok, you know what really pisses me off in life. When I am washing the dishes after a meal and the people clearing the table stack all the plates up on top of one another. Of course, this means that now I have to wash BOTH the top and bottom of the plates thoroughly. Instead, bring me one plate at a time, or spread them out over the counter in non-stacked formation. You know what else pisses me off, the token "dish dryer" job. "Oh, you need help, I'll dry." Any job that can be replaced by air is not a real job. You can just put the dishes in the drying rack and that job becomes obsolete. Instead, offer to get me a beer with a straw so I can wash and drink simultaneously. Now thats help.