Saturday, 11 February 2012

Figure Painting a la Bob Ross

In this installment, I will cover the alla prima procedure for wet-on-wet painting using acrylic paints.

Prepare the paint surface with by applying the water and retarder solution with a water brush. This enhances paint control, contour diffusion and more importantly prevents overlaying colors from staining by saturating the porous matte base.

I always recommend applying the intermediate shadow color first. This color is conceived from the immediate value darker than that of the local color.

Reckoning that chroma and color warmth will be lost when mixed with the shadow color,  a stronger tone of yellow mixed from Light Yellow, Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna and a touch of Cadmium Orange was applied. 

The local color with an orange bias was also applied as another intermediary tone to the strong yellow and dark brown. There are no hard and fast rules to this. 

Highlights were added with a dash of Naples Yellow. These colors are then carefully merged together along their boundaries. 
 "Just lightly blend it, one hair and some air" 
Bob Ross

Build up  opacity through increments of thin paint and spread it out evenly in light and gentle  strokes to reduce the appearance of brush strokes.

"Remember our Golden Rule: A thin paint sticks to a thick paint."
Bob Ross

You can enhance the variation of hues by adopting a variation of the "broken color" technique pioneered by the impressionists. Instead of leaving the pure color as they are, I incorporated them together to produce subtle variations of tertiary hues. Most will recall prominent armor modelling guru Miguel "MIG" Jimenez pioneering this technique for armor models.

"You can put as many or as few as you want in your world"
Bob Ross

The result from the first session of painting. The alla prima technique - though lacking in finesse as shown by the loose handling of paint - it nonetheless allows a rapid realization of value contrast and color tones. 




Kyle Nelson said...

I really like how I can see a little bit of every color in all aspects of the completed finish... If I look hard enough, I can find subtle hints of reds, blues, yellows, greens, purples, etc. in all the shadows and hilights. The effect is sooo realistic! Reminds me of Sang Eun Lee's work. Keep it up!

Calvin Tan said...

Hi Kyle,

thanks for the words of encouragement. Glad you like what you're seeing so far.


orange3D said...

Love the Bob Ross quotes!

Anonymous said...

Do you offer correspondent classes to teach your techniques?

Anonymous said...

I can not get over how good you are. My Father and I are are always blown away and envious of your great artistry. ONE DAY!!! Thank you so much for sharing your insight. Keep up the great work bud.