Monday, February 7, 2011

Beginnings-More of Richard Schmid

Richard Schmid's beginning

After a short “sick” break, I continue now with two more ‘beginnings.’ These are from Richard Schmid’s book Alla Prima.

The first three methods I blogged about earlier provides much more support for the novice painter. These two methods below require a greater skill in judging correct value, color, and shape. I would not recommend them for the beginner. The Full Color Accurate Block-In begins with a tonal wash applied over the entire canvas. Pick a large mass/shape and lay it in with correct colors and values. Schmid reminds the reader to paint it as correctly and as completely as possible with its true value, color, and edges. The adjoining shape is done next in the same way, and continues connecting each shape that borders the previous one. He cautions that excessive modeling with value changes in the lights and shadows will undermine the design structure. Use color changes instead. I also find temperature changes work as well.

The last method is called Selective Start. This is Schmid’s favorite way of beginning. Although it sounds like the previous method, the difference is he begins with a point, not the largest mass. Begin by painting each little shape as carefully as you can from the start. Do it in as finished a way as possible, and use each correct color shape to guide you in painting all adjoining shapes. Build your picture in this way from a single accurate point, painting outward from that center, until you have the painting you want before you. He calls the final stage “mopping up.” Here Schmid checks for drawing errors, eliminates any unnecessary value changes and checks the overall design for simplicity.

As you can see, this is not for a beginner but it does sound like a goal to move toward. I’ve seen him demo portraits this way and he begins with the eye and works out from that point.  Looking at all the previous methods for starting a painting, do you have a different method that you find to be as valid as the ones featured here?  Please let me know so I can share with my readers.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Deborah,
    Fascinating research you are doing.You have me intrigued and I want to try each method. Thanks for sharing! Hope you are feeling better.


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