Starting to apply the warmer flesh tones using Alizarin, Cad Red, Italian Pink and Zinc White. It's still far too pale and evenly toned, although the Zinc White is really coming into its own. Will let this get a bit tackier and then really amp up the warm tones and build in some blues.
I need to start thinking about how the face integrates into the ground and the rest of the figure. Maybe some loose brush-strokes and a series of glazes.
I'd really like to bleed some colour across the work - Maybe that Alizarin across the face; I'll see what happens when the intensity builds.
The Piambura (dead layer) is done. I've spent a few days on this as the tonal qualities need to be fairly accurate. I continued using the Payne's Grey and started with Cremnitz (lead) White but really didn't like it. The Cremnitz had an eggy quality and wouldn't lie cleanly on the earlier layers, especially when mixed with the medium (I use Archival Odourless Classic). I introduced some Titanium White to give it body but blended them as the colours of the two whites are quite different. I think I'll try the Zinc White next time.
In terms of the effect I think it's a technique that has potential for portraits but isn't offering the expressive looseness I'm looking for at the moment. Once this work is done I have another underpainting I'm thinking about playing with to create expressive layers.
Next is the houding layer (applying warm and cool colours to model the dimensionality of the face).
I'm doing something I haven't done before - experimenting with my craft, rather than producing work for exhibition and sale. I starting this new process by playing with some ideas about how I go about my tradecraft.
This work draws on the Flemish many layered process that includes the dark warm ground, verdaccio/grisaille, piambura (dead layer) and houding (red/green warm/cool shaping).
Instead of the burnt umber I have chosen Alizarin crimson for the ground. I prefer a brighter palette than the old school Dutch/Flemish.
For the grisaille I'm trying Payne's Grey : - It just feels more contemporary (so far).
After several years of study and actually finding paid employment I find myself in the strange position of feeling in some way justified to pick up my brush again. Some ideas have been percolating in my mind for those years and they are demanding expression (as they are wont to do!).
In some ways it is crunch time for me in my art career. I need to get my visual act together. I've had time to learn some of my craft and play with the ideas that motivate my practice; now I need to bring these elements together into a mature practice. I spent so much time reflecting about the nature of my practice, both conceptually and physically and I think I finally have a real sense of myself as a practitioner.
I just have to make the work!
Then there is that other voice - advice from an experienced gallerist and established artists, "just paint, and don't worry about the rush to be seen". So that is what I plan to do for the next - just paint, and draw and film....