Practical Exercise 9 – Texture – Face

Materials

Paint: Pebeo acrylic titanium white, quinacridone red-orange, cadmium red, ultramarine, burnt sienna
Brushes: Pro Arte – flat 3/8”
Tools: Palette knives, Forsline and Starr colour shaper, cocktail sticks
Other mediums: Golden Extra Heavy Gel
Support: Jacksons acrylic board
Size: 15 x 15 cm, 6” x 6”


Aims

In these test pieces exploring texture I had been reminded of earlier exercises in the course when I had been considering different aspects of growing older. I decided to use this exercise to use paint and texture gel in a more sculptural way to create the face of an elderly woman.

Session 1

Initial layer of acrylic paint and gel medium

Initial layer of acrylic paint and gel medium

For the initial layer I used titanium white and heavy gel medium. I left this for ¾ of an hour before starting to create the texture of the face. Using the colour shaper and a cocktail stick I worked on the outline of the face, scraping into the paint with the tools and using the palette knife to create contrasting textures.

Session 2

Light wash of purple mix

Light wash of purple mix

After a bit of debate, I decided to add some colour thinking of the kind of palette used by Shani Rhys James. For session 2, I added a layer of cadmium red, ultramarine and burnt sienna mix. This was left to dry and then rubbed off to try and get the paint into the crevices.

Additional wash of quinacridone red-orange

Additional wash of quinacridone red-orange

I then added a thicker layer of quinacridone red-orange and worked deeper into the crevices.

Adding light and mid-tones

Adding light and mid-tones

I added and removed layers of the purple mix to build up the darker tones of the neck and around the eyes before working with flesh tones previously tried out in my sketchbook. With these I worked on the lighter and mid-tones.

Session 3

Definition of texture with darker wash of colour

Definition of texture with darker wash of colour

In session 3, I worked more on the darker tones and added a layer of the purple mix to the hair to create more definition. Finally, I added a light wash of cadmium red and ultramarine to define the clothing around the neck.

Self-Assessment

Technical and visual skills and quality of outcome – I am, perhaps, working with the wrong materials for what I want achieve which was more the idea of the head in low-relief. With more time and patience, I think I could have created something closer to my original hopes. Using this type of heavy gel medium is, I think, worth exploring in terms of more detailed mark-making to show the effect of time upon our skin and facial features.

Demonstration of creativity and context – This was a tricky piece to develop. I wanted to try and explore something more sculptural and to create the face almost in low-relief. While the aim was not to overly use colour using a limited palette like Shani Rhys James has been a useful exercise. This hasn’t worked entirely as I had hoped but, having said that, I think there is potential to develop this into a subtler piece of work.


Related Post

Shani Rhys Jones – Research Notes – https://katespainting2.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/shani-rhys-james-research-notes/

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