A few months ago I worked on the cover for Greydon Clark’s autobiography “On The Cheap – My Life In Low Budget Filmmaking”. Here’s some rough preliminary sketches and the final piece created in Photoshop. Greydon’s book is currently available on his website http://greydonclark.com/autobiography.php
Here’s some process photos of a Tura Satana painting I completed a couple of months ago. The initial drawing was quite stylised as you can see from the Photoshop rough and the sepia sketch on canvas. As I progressed I felt I wasn’t capturing her unique look despite repainting her face a couple of times. Finally I re-gessoed the canvas and started again. This time I went for more realism paying close attention to the shape of her eyes and jawline.
These girls were inspired by the look of Sixties singers like Helen Shapiro, Ronnie Spector and Dusty Springfield.
Medium: PITT oil based pencil and watercolours/acrylics on 230gsm watercolour paper
These are my rough development sketches. First I drew the basic pose (left) then on detail paper refined and stylised it further (right).
Method: After I was happy with my refined sketch I transferred it via light box onto watercolour paper using blue Col Erase pencil. Went over the blue line with a Pitt oil based pencil (extra soft). They work well on watercolour paper. Painted using W&N watercolours (pan set) with a little opaque acrylic on the dress, shoes and the gloves.
For the past few months i have been wanting to buy some new acrylic paints. I fell in love with Golden heavy body acrylics when i bought a tube of Burnt Umber. They are arguably the best acrylics on the market and have a lovely rich buttery feel. Unfortunately they are pricey. I needed to chose my paints carefully so i would get the most out of a small selection of colours.
Another great advantage of having a few colours is that you learn so much by mixing them. For instance a huge range of greens can be mixed that are far more subtle and interesting than a green straight from the tube.
After some research on forums sites like Wet canvas and reading Stephen Quiller’s essential “The painter’s guide to color” I narrowed my selection to five colours.
My three primaries are: Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Yellow light, Phthalo blue Green Shade.
My secondary colours are: Phthalo Green Yellow Shade and Dioxazine Purple.
I didn’t bother with an orange since i can make a clean orange with Quinacridone Red and Cadmium Yellow light.
Out of these five colours I was able to mix the twelve colours of the wheel. It’s amazing how much you learn after doing a simple exercise like this. No amount of reading can substitute for actual practice with the paints. I now have a palette that allows me to mix a huge range of colours.
I don’t think the Golden brand is widely available in Australia but fortunately Melbourne Artist Supplies have the full range.