Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vitruvian Man Undercoat

I started actually applying paint to the Vitruvian man Self-Portrait today.  It was an rather cool today, so I started out in a sweater (I knew I was going to get naked soon so there wasn't much point in wearing more). I had already drawn the outlines of the figure in brown ink on the paper.  They are very sparse, bare outlines.  Then I mixed up some red ochre and van dyke brown in oil, and put it on in big globs.  I rubbed it into the paper with a rag.  I did this until I got a nice, richly textures surface, with paint sinking into the grooves in the gesso.

Than I moved all the way around in the studio, and set everything up in the other side so the light would be right.  This was kind of an experimental technique, which did not turn out as I had hoped.  I was planning on doing a large part of the painting today, and was going to start painting the skin colors directly onto the wet brown undercoat  When I tried doing this though, the paint picked up the brown coat and left it white on the bottom.  It was not going according to plan.  So I think I need to let this layer dry and come back to work on it early next week.  At any rate, the undercoat looks wonderful;  I think its going to be a beautiful piece!