Monday, March 14, 2011

Color Hand Sketch

To supplement my recent figure practice I watched a DVD by Howard Sanden today. Sanden uses a complex system of premixed paints (that he sells). I dislike the idea of premixed paint and don't own any, but there is no question that Sanden paints great hands. I sketched this after watching his DVD. I may watch it again someday, with the sound turned off...Sanden keeps telling us things like he is mixing "Neutral 7 with a bit of Venetian red"...(not all that helpful when you don't own any "Neutral 7" and you have no clue whatever which paints combine to be "Neutral 7"). On and on he goes: "I use a bit of Neutral 5 here" (Whatevs!) I stopped short of restating and detail. This was a taxing exercise. Maybe I'll look at it again in a day or so.
(Well, I do recommend the DVD, in retrospect, it has more positive than negative going on).

(Top Photo) Color Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Sanden Hand Exercise, oil on 12x9 canvas panel
(Bottom Photos) Sanden instructs: #1 Sketch out in pencil, #2, place darkest darks, #3 place halftones, #4 finish




18 comments:

Marcia Vander Schaaf said...

Thanks for the posting! Love the introspective and careful analysis. Very helpful info!

Dave Starr said...

I saw one of his videos a long time ago and remember thinking that he must have had 30 different paints out. It was confusing as hell! I wonder if a breakdown of what paints translate to his zone system exists somewhere. Your exercise seems to have come out great. It looks awfully good to me!

Celeste Bergin said...

Thanks, Marcia and Dave!
Dave, even if a "cheat sheet" for his numbered system existed I kind of think it wouldn't be a picnic to deal with. Just the same, it really was an informative DVD. I liked watching how he applied the paint.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

very nice, really lovely, I like a lot hands, they tell a lot ...

rajasekharan said...

great...Thank you for sharing the procedures...

Mariano Zucchi said...

Hi Celeste,
those hands came out good. It sound like a very complex system; is always good trying different things! Eventually your own system is always the better, best
Mariano

William R. Moore said...

Celeste, I have three of Sanden's books on portrait painting. If you can find a copy of "Painting The Head in Oil,"by Sanden ( out of print now) shows exactly how he mixed by proportion his 3 lights, 2 halftones and 2 darks and three neutrals. He shows how to mix enough to fill an empty tube for each ( which he did before he started having them manufactured). His system is for expedience of mixing what he would mix anyway.

He places two rows of paint on the palette.the top row consist of Ultra b.,Cer b., vir G, Chrom Ox G, Aliz. Bur U, Cad O, Ven R, Cad R l, Y orh, Cad Y l and the bottom row Iv b, 3 newtrals, 2 darks, 2 Halftones, 3 Lights and Permalba W.

An example of his mixture for a tube of his Halftone 1 is White 57 units, Yellow Orhre 14 units, Viridian9 units and Cadmium Red Light 2 nits. That mixture is not unlike what we might mix in a lesser quantity for a note in the flesh of a portrait plus any additions.

He has on his palette 12 hues (top) and 10 premixed plus black and White ( bottom) He just gets familiar with a little larger key board. There is a lot to be gleaned from his books even if you don't premix.

He often painted a head shoulder portrait demo at The Art Students League in 1 hour. Expedience!

He learned this method from Samuel Edmund Oppenheim, his teacher at A.S.L.

Note: His work is methodical, less intuitive and less emotional. He paints very accepted, crafted portraits likenesses for the commissioned portrait market.

rob ijbema said...

pre mixed paints is odd
what next pre mixed atmosphere
pre mixed light
how about a tube of pre mixed shadow?
you keep mixing celeste,you did great here!

Jane said...

Great hands!!

Casey Klahn said...

Well done - this is a hard project. You make it look easy, too.

Linda Popple said...

Beautifully painted hands, Celeste! Good exercise.

Jan Yates, SCA said...

interesting process--i especially like how you've handled the wrist and continuity through to the forefinger-you've really modelled the hands as a 'whole' -like your palette too

Robin said...

Casey is right, you make it look easy. Until you try figurative painting, you can't appreciate how challenging it is, particularly with hands (or any other body part for that matter!)

Christabel said...

Great hands Celeste, I love your work, thanks for sharing the steps.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Beautiful hands, Celeste. I've always heard that painting/drawing hands is one of the hardest things to do. Great job!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Such gentle, expressive hands. I could never follow these directions.

AutumnLeaves said...

Well you sure handled these hands beautifully (and the pun really wasn't intended but I can't think fast enough to come up with another word for 'handled'). I love the dramatic background for them!

Thomas Kitts said...

Hi Celeste:

Here a quote by Fechin you might agree with. And for some reason my comment didn't take last time...

"Any standardization is negative in its meaning. If conventional shades and colors are used, the ability to see them in reality is lost. It is essential that the artist should regard every new painting as an entirely special world of color, light, form and line. Every new canvas is a completely new challenge."

Necholai Fechin

Sanden os a fine and appropriately recognized artist, but I don't particularly care for his handling of color. Fechin explains why.

Thomas