Art Lesson 45, Part 6
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Impressionistic Approach in painting Clothes
By the time we have already seen some dress painting in the previous parts of the video. The dress painting is quite sketchy. The whole work was done on top of the initial pencil drawing. In this video part we go on with the girls’ dresses as big uniform masses with no details. It is only in the area of collars that there are some details.
The girls’ cloths play a secondary role. So the simpler we paint them the better. This draws the watcher’s attention to the girls’ faces and hands. This method was often used by the great masters. In many fine art museums worldwide you may find pictures where faces of the sitters are the main focusing point of an artwork. To achieve it, various methods can be used including sketchy backgrounds and clothing.
The chosen method would depend on the desired results in every particular case. To compare such way with the completely opposite one, we can take a look on one of my previous paintings – The ecstasy of St. Theresa.
As you can notice, there are very different compositional tasks in this picture – in Theresa’s dress there are a lot of well painted details. The dress plays as big role as the face. This was done on purpose, to show the delicate and elaborate craftsmanship of the cloth and painter. The dress has decorative role to depict the intricate patterns on the dress design.
The Ecstasy of St. Theresa is also presented to you as a video tutorial on the Web Art Academy membership website.
Let’s come back to The Disciples. The dresses design and composition have simplicity in mind. This artwork is bases on the intuitive approach to painting. The main feature of the painting process is freehand and expressiveness of the brushwork. There is no need to take care of polished finish and smoothness of the paint layer. Working in big masses with the dresses you can accomplish the desired results faster while keeping freshness of the color palette and visual appearance of the girls’ garments.
Now we are outlining the dress by working on the background around it. This process can be done with paint diluted with turpentine by big flat brush.
For greater visual effects we are using the piece of soft cloth with which we’re taking off excess paint and wiping it into canvas. The paint is partially soaking into canvas, and after wiping the vague and obscure layer is remaining. While wiping the paint we’re taking care of leaving the edges of the dress intact.
We are carry on with the background painting around the dress. We are still using the same method of applying diluted paint by wide brush and taking excess of paint with soft cloth.
At this stage you can see the final stage of the shoes painting of the first girl. Despite the deceptive simplicity of the dark color you should take care of the medium choice. For example if you’re about to use turpentine alone the paint will go faded and matt after drying. So, if you have different plans for your paint finish, you can use the linseed oil. This way the paint layer will dry more slowly, however will have no faded finish.
To emphasize the girl’s legs on the dark background you can apply the lighter contour around her legs, which will separate dark legs from the background tone. The first figure was conceived to be in trousers; however at the later time, we have decided to dress both girls in dresses. This is still quite easily possible due to flexibility of our approach.
The dress will be lighter than trousers and more suited to the second figure’s colors.
Now it’s time to proceed with the second figure shoes. As beforehand the paint diluted with turpentine was used on the place around shoes, the canvas surface has become matt-faded; precisely as we wanted. This matt surface is ideal for lacquered shoes of the second girl. First, we outlining the shoes with dark paint and then using the Lamp Black for shoes area and around it in places of the drop-shadows. We also using the same method of taking off the excess paint with soft cloth when required.
For deep color of the dark shoes we are using Ivory Black mixed with Linseed Oil. As a final characteristic touch you may place the light brushstroke with White paint. This will expose the lacquered glossy finish of the shoe.