Sunday, March 27, 2022

Another painting motif

I wrote in my last post about the lake motif that I've been using in my daily painting.  Another motif that I've used several times is a hand.  Simplest execution you can imagine: trace around the hand, fill in with color.  

I've been using this motif to experiment with color: not so much which two colors will go well together but how to lay down the color within the hand and in the  background.  I don't want a flat, uniform coat of paint; instead I'm looking for ways to vary the tones and achieve an interesting texture.

Because I don't wash out my paint palette dish at night, I always have five or six dried-up blobs of paint in different colors ready to be reconstituted.  I tend to mix up a supply of my main color, then vary the strokes by occasionally dipping into one of the side colors.  Sometimes the colors blend smoothly, if they aren't too different in value and if the first color has stayed pretty wet before the second one comes on.  Other times there are distinct lines between one color and the next.

I find that I like both approaches.  I also like varying the shape of the hand, either by moving the fingers or cropping the shape on the page. 

When my granddaughter was visiting one day I showed her my hand paintings and she let me trace her hand a couple of times.

I am also using these motifs as a way to practice carefully laying down the paint.  I don't paint a background first and then put the hand over the top; instead I paint the hand first and then paint the background color exactly up to the edge, trying to leave no bit of white between the two colors.  It's improving my hand control!

When I showed these paintings to a friend, she suggested that I try to make my depiction more realistic by shading to show dimension.  I thought about that for a while, but then decided that I like the flat look, at least for now.  Maybe after I've gotten more comfortable with the paint I can circle back and focus more on the "drawing." 

(I even thought about extending this flat approach to other mediums, cutting hand shapes out of patterned paper or fabric and collaging them.  Might hold that thought for another day!)

I'll show you my next recurring motif in another post.  Meanwhile, you can see all my daily art on my daily art blog.

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