Monday, February 28, 2011

Temperature Painting

Here's a portrait done for our Head Painting class. The current technique is to use only burnt umber and titanium white, using both pick-out and opaque techniques. The result, if done correctly, is a temperature painting where the lights are all cool and the shadows are all warm. I believe it could technically be deemed a grisaille technique.

Essentially the way it works is that you have two ways to get value; burnt umber is your darkest value, and thinning it will give you warm, transparent lighter values, and adding titanium white will give you cool, opaque lighter values. Using the two, you can make a separation of temperature between your lights and your darks, which is a powerful compositional tool and an essential part of color theory. I'm really glad we're learning to use oil paint this simply, beginning with only value, now value and temperature, and we're going to be gradually working in color; I'd definitely recommend this route if you want to get in to traditional media.

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