Friday, May 30, 2008

A Mona Lisa for our troubled times

Below is the oil painting of German actor/madman Klaus Kinski that I began last weekend. So far the likeness is there, but I want to exaggerate the planes of his face more and get his eyes to the point where his stare unnerves the viewer.

Right now it has just one layer of paint on the canvas, just figuring out my colors and values. I don't like to use "tube colors", rather I like to place mixed colors in layers of glazes next to each other so that the eye is tricked (which is really the root of what painting is - after all, you're trying to represent something dimensional on a flat surface). For example, people think a tux is black, but I'm doing it dark cobalt blue. The red background helps makes it appear black. The same with his skin - I won't use a flesh color, rather I'll use yellows and oranges, and rely on the intense red and blues to make it appear more 'fleshy' to the eye (flesh isn't really flesh color anyways - everyone's is obviously different). So basically what I have going here is a "triadic color scheme." That said, the red background might change to a grayish-green to make the yellows & oranges of his skin pop more. But maybe not.

OK, I'm starting to veer into Bob Ross territory - no need to give the plebian hordes too much of a peek behind the curtain. Stay tuned for further Kinski portrait updates, and watch Klaus grow more sinister and saturated with each passing week.

1 comment:

Will Dinski said...

Yes, he needs that particular "I'm going to chew your feet off so you can't chase me after I steal your hat" look.