Nittany Lion Inn - "Change of Classes" In-progress journal
Karl Eric Leitzel July, 2009 main web site
A Day Working Indoors
Today's rain has me working inside, but that's fine, since it's important to see the painting under a variety of lighting conditions to keep colors and contrast in proper balance. When in the studio ( the dining room of the house most of the time), I position myself with a large window to my left and a light fixture that has a mix of incandescent and spiral warm-white flourescent bulbs. This mix of light sources gives a good overall balance of color, although it leans toward the yellow side compared to indirect daylight. You can even see the difference between the left and right sides of the large canvas. I keep this in mind as I paint and make sure I use the same mixes of color across the canvas as I work.
Today I'm working to finish up the foreground figures, as well as odd unpainted spots throughout the scene.
You can see in this closeup view how faces and clothing are approximated, but not at all detailed. While the style of painting will keep the faces at a loose "impressionistic" degree of detailing, they will be more carefully modeled than this when the piece is finished. It will be interesting to compare this photo with the same area in the finished painting.
At the End of Day 3
Ah, finally the whole canvas has been covered. It is now possible to get a good sense of the finished work, even though there is much building up of paint and refining left to do. You can see how, already, the increasing contrast and color saturation toward the foreground adds to the lines of perspective in creating a strong sense of depth. This is important in letting the viewer feel as though he or she can step into the scene. All of these interrelated aspects of the painting will be further refined over the next few days.
As I continue painting I will be using thicker strokes of paint in many areas and will be softening some edges as well as increasing the detail in others. A purely illustrative technique would generally call for hard edges everywhere, at least toward the foreground, but in fine art both color interactions and varying sharpness of edges are helpful in drawing attention to certain areas, leading the viewer's eye through the scene, and generally tying the whole painting together into a congruous whole.
Tomorrow's weather looks like it will allow a return to outdoor work. This is especially important now, as this stage requires frequent stepping back ten or even twenty feet to gauge the relationships of color and contrast across the entire canvas.