10 September 2013

Lessons from the open studio...using both a warm and cool white for portraits

Every Saturday morning, I attend an open studio, with the model in a single, long pose.  Before each session, I pick one or two goals.  Today I tried portrait painting with both a warm and cool white on my palette.  The cool white was titanium, the warm white was from Gamblin (I heard about it on Deb Elmquists' blog).  My theory was that a choice of white temperatures would help separate the lights and shadows, produce better modeling of the form, and speed my mixing time.

Chris, 8x11", oil on linen. 

Chris was sitting under north light, so the shadow areas of his face were warmer than the lights. The Gamblin warm white did a great job lightening mixtures for the shadows without cooling the hues down.  That made color mixing easier and faster, which gave me confidence.  When I'm confident, I mix bigger piles of paint and get more paint on the canvas...so this warm white was all good for me.  I expect it will allow me to complete the early stages of a 3-hour sketch faster, so I can give more attention to the finish.

It's a nice white, regardless of genre.  Gamblin recommends it for landscape painting.  Deb uses it for still lifes.  I like it for portraits.  It is a titanium white tinted with arylide (Hansa) yellow.

5 comments:

  1. Always enjoy seeing what you are doing, Candace! Very excellent post! Our daughter was in San Diego last week, she loved the climate and nice pace there!

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  2. Just got back from Maine and checked my blog. Love that you had success with the warm white. You nailed the benefit of this white-it doesn't cool down a color like t. White. Great portrait too.

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    1. Thanks for suggesting the warm white, Deb. It seems a bit more transparent than standard titanium white too. I like that.

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  3. Thank you, Candace, for the insightful blog and for your mention of the Warm & Cool Whites! Great painting!

    Kindest regards,
    Scott Gellatly
    Product Manager
    Gamblin Artists Colors

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    1. Hi, Scott. Thanks for your comments. I didn't mention this in the post, but I like the creamy consistency and handling of the Warm White, too. Great product.

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