Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cosmetic Counter

Cosmetic Counter
20" x 20"     oil on linen     2015

Purple together with red and green are an unusual color combination for me in recent years, though I did use that palette more often, along with orange, in the 1980s. These days I tend to favor the three primary colors - red, blue, and yellow - as well as green. 

I've always felt that green is visually and psychologically a primary, but in traditional color theory green is considered a secondary color, along with purple and orange. The distinction is basically due to the fact that the primaries can't be mixed from two other colors, while the secondaries can be; for example, the primaries blue and yellow can be mixed to make green, but there are no two colors that can mixed to produce a blue or yellow, or red.

Harmonies of primary colors tend to be bright and aggressive, while harmonies of secondary colors tend to produce more mysterious and subdued effects ... perhaps a little analogous to the difference in music between harmonies of major notes and those of minor notes. Each has it's own power and beauty. 

After an initial quick sketch, this composition was developed in four drawings, below. 

initial sketch
1/8" x 4 3/4"     ink on paper     2015

drawing #1
7" x 7 5/8"     pencil on graph paper     2015

drawing #2
10" x 10"     pencil on graph paper     2015

drawing #3
20" x 21"     pencil on paper     2015

drawing #4, final drawing
20" x 20"     pencil on paper with pastel tone on reverse     2015

I made three significant changes while painting: 1. removed the second large face in the background along the left side, 2. trimmed the right side of the central large face, and 3. raised the woman's arm so her hand is touching the cosmetic case on the counter. 

1 comment:

  1. I think this palette is so lovely, just beautiful. The whole composition makes me smile!



"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious,
the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.”
- Amedeo Modigliani