Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Leonardo DeCaprio as Gatsby: Part VI

Another in a series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an oversized portrait.

This is the third square of six, column 2, row a. By looking at and discussing the progress of “Gatsby” I am learning what I must do to finish each section. For instance, immediately upon looking at the chart above, I see that I need to make the orange in DeCaprio’s forehead deeper, that is I must mix a color that has more of the orange hue plus a bit of the complementary color (blue) to dull it down.*

I am actually working 2 squares ahead of this one, but as I have written in the past, it is constantly necessary to check back to all the squares to make sure that each is working with the others, that colors and brush work agree across the artificial divisions of the picture plane. One of the most disconcerting aspects of working in these sections has been that the left side of the portrait is more detailed and more realistic than the right side of the portrait. When viewed as one the two sides work together. However when I am working on the individual sections this aspect of the portrait has proved to be terribly disconcerting. Viewed as separate abstract artworks, the brushing and color is so different as to make the three squares of column 2 appear to be entirely different from the three sharper and more heavily painted squares of column 1. I constantly have to reassure myself by returning to my original sketch in order to see that, “indeed the 2 columns do perform as one unit, not two separate pieces. Unfortunately, the necessity of dividing the portrait into these 6 separate parts because of the lack of studio space, and in order to ship the finished painting 140 miles has generated these difficulties. In other words the solution to these two problems has generated another – fortunately not insurmountable – problem.

* For the definition of "hue" and "complementary color," folow the links by clicking on the words.

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