Today I started the dead coloring stage of the painting. That is where I start roughing in the darks to start establishing value and applying thinned-down color. What is the point of this stage? I may be repeating myself here (I may have discussed this in a previous blog) but trying to put in exact colors while starting with a white canvas is not easy to do because a color on a white background will actually look very different when other colors are put around it and the background is no longer white. Dark colors will look lighter next to even darker colors. So it is hard to gauge what are the right colors to use in the beginning of a painting. So it helps to start painting in the dark values and working one’s way to the lighter values. I guess at what I think might be good color choices at this stage. The point is to have a starting point and to get the canvas completely covered so that it is no longer white. Once that is done, then it is much easier to see how to make better color choices for the next stage (which is called ‘first painting’). I can stand back and look at the dead coloring stage and analyze better, like maybe my oranges are too chromatic, or maybe my values are too light in one area and too dark in another. That gives me a new direction to go so I can refine everything in the next stage.

Today I got the background roughed in, so hopefully tomorrow I can get the color into the figure.

Below is a video of today’s progress:

By Cody Deegan

Cody Deegan is a life-long artist versed in drawing, painting, sculpting, and design. He studied filmmaking and character animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as well as figurative oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

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