|Nubian 2, watercolor on arches cp paper, 30 x 40 cm|
First, I decided to revisit Charles Reid's instructions on painting dark complexions. "Try to mix colors on the paper", "for dark colors do not make your colors very watery", "paint the whole face in one wash on dry paper"... Armed with these advices and without giving it much thought I grabbed the brushes. With the non-watery color mix on a relatively large size drawing no matter how fast I was trying to work, the edges were drying faster. I ended up with some interesting and spontaneous color effects, but overall the face color looked muddy and overdone.
A few days later I decided to try doing several small and quick sketches of this face, using the same technique. The sketch below was the most successful one of them.I quite liked the expression of that face too, so I decided to do another larger painting based on it. Only this time I did it in two more carefully planned washes, one with the lighter colors and the second with the darker. The lesson I learned from this experience is that I should not take the masters' advices literally, but rather should adapt them to my level of experience and to my style. And, better start small when trying new approaches.
|Nubian - sketch, 14 x 14 cm|