Sunday, November 27, 2011

After! After!

I bit off a lot, beginning a copy of Sorolla's After the Bath  late this afternoon. This is my first pass and I'm considering it a good start. My objective was to do my best to achieve some of Sorolla's super-strong sunlight. (I say "some" because everyone knows no one but Sorolla can paint like Sorolla! It's almost silly for me to even say his name!) Still, many painters seek to understand by copying a great painting; I'm no exception. So, onward.

1. I am certain that my approach is nothing like Sorolla's, still I researched his palette and I found and put out as many of those colors I could find.  I used Gamblin Fastmatte red transparent oxide to mass in general shapes. (Sorolla had no Gamblin Fastmatte!)

2. I continue to place big shapes with the Fastmatte paint.

3. As with any painting, it seems smart to establish the lightest light first. I mixed white and cadmium lemon for the lightest light.

4. I place the lightest lights where they appear in Sorolla's painting. (Thanks, Joaquin.... for making those lightest lights very obvious for me).

5. The darkest parts of the painting seem obvious too (the shadow and the woman's hair). I put those darks in and place some middle colors where they belong ...(careful not to place anything darker than the established darkest dark or lighter than the established lightest light).

6. I continue to place warms and cools where I see them, making sure to keep the values where they belong. I made an error with value and color in the man's hat and I vow to fix it tomorrow. As I was working on this I thought geez...complicated!, but the more I kept with it the more I was glad that I gave it a go. Time for a reward cup of Joe...I'll give it another pass in a day or so!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, After the Bath (after Sorolla), oil on 16x20 canvas panel

23 comments:

SamArtDog said...

Wow, you've got guts! So far, you are SO up to a Sorolla copy. Fascinating to watch you give it a go.

J. Kevin James said...

YES! You've captured that light wonderfully. Can't wait to see your next steps on this one!

Manel said...

Celeste, Sorolla is my favorite painter. I have learn very much from him. It's impossible to paint like him, but this is not the point.
Me gusta tu interpretación por sí misma, y no por lo que se aproxime o se aleje del modelo original. Lo importante es lo que se aprende copiando a los grandes maestros, y lo más interesante es cómo se reinterpretan a través de la visión personal de uno mismo.
Felicidades, porque tu interpretación me gusta mucho.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

just luminous and beautifull, fresh and free, I like it so much,

have a great week

conservativelybohemian said...

I think this is beautiful, Celeste! I really have to pay more attention to value in my pieces. I never give it a thought! (Shocking, no?)

Marie Theron said...

The steps of your methods are very valuable!

Libby Fife said...

Sorolla aside, this one is really lovely. That strong sunlight is so delicate. The whole thing has a "feminine" feel to it somehow.

As always, the steps you provided in doing the painting are much appreciated:)

Chris said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments about my pen sketches. This was a fascinating post with a great outcome. I learn so much from your blog.

RH Carpenter said...

I knew this was a Sorolla copy as soon as I saw it in the sidebar - you're doing well keeping those bright lights - he definitely was a master of that as his paintings seem to shine out with a bright white no one else does as much. Looking forward to the next step :)

Celeste Bergin said...

Manel wrote:
I like your interpretation itself, and not what approaches or moves away from the original model. What matters is what you learn by copying the great masters, and most interesting is how are reinterpreted through one's personal vision.
Congratulations, because I really like your interpretation.
___________________
Thanks so much Manel!

Dave Starr said...

I am not sure I would start copying a Sorolla early in the day, late in the day or anytime at all. daunting. But the darkest dark and lightest light is beginning to make sense to me, thanks to you bringing it up all the time and showing it in the steps.

Celeste Bergin said...

Thanks Sam, J. Kevin, Manel, Nouvelles, Sherry, Marie, Libby, Chris and RH! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! :)

Celeste Bergin said...

Thanks, Dave!!

Carrie H. said...

I would need to have a glass of wine to eve think about making a copy of this painting but I think it's a good idea.... and a good excuse to have a glass of wine!

Linda Popple said...

So impressed, Celeste! Thanks for the info on your start. It always helps me to see what other artists do. I've painted after a couple of artists and always learn so I admire what you are accomplishing. Sorolla is one of my favs and looking forward to your finished painting. Well done!

Jane said...

You learn from Sorola, and I learn from you learning, love seeing the steps to get there!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Amazing, just amazing. I should remember this--lightest light; then darkest dark.

Dan Kent said...

You could make a fortune as a counterfeiter! (Just kidding). I so appreciate this post. An education for you, but a lesson for me as well. Thank you for the step-by-step. It was wonderful to see.

Celeste Bergin said...

thanks Carrie, Linda, Jane, Hallie and Dan! ( Dan...haha you're too funny!)

I will get back to this in a day or so...Thanks again all for the comments!

Kitty Wallis said...

Well Done! You have it right. It IS Complicated. Following the direction of light is a challenge. Like water, light follows it's laws scrupulously. Any mis-step and the illusion begins to weaken. Following a master helps us see thru the maze.

I am impressed with this.

billspaintingmn said...

This looks great! I usually work dark to light,(transparent cool darks, opaque warm lights)
Sorolla paintings can teach much. I think artists can learn a lot by painting from the masters.

Paula K. Cravens said...

I am intrigued by Sorolla. Thanks for giving me an insight into his work.

Ruca said...

This is looking SO good! It's great to let us peer over your shoulder at your canvas and cock an ear to your thoughts as you work.