Technical Insights from “Not Far from Home” #20

Warm, Cool, Warm…

One of the key elements that I have taken away from years of painting from life is the heightened awareness of the warm /cool interplay on the subject as the form turns.  I know I have mentioned this on previous posts, but its importance bears mentioning again.  In this image and the details to follow, you will see how the shifting of temperature accentuates the volume and three dimensionality of image while holding the values in a simple mass.  It can also be seen in great detail within the two page spread of, “Indigo and Ivory”,  30” x 60” (Page 118 and 119 from “Not Far from Home”),

In these details, you can see the transitions from warm to cool inter-playing throughout the forms, but most specifically where noted with letters W (warm) C(cool).  See how close in value these tones are, yet there is still a noticeable form change.  My first discovery of this application came to me years ago when studying a Sargent painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In his painting, “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”, Mr. Sargent rimmed the outside edge of the light plane on the foreground girl’s blouse with a cool tone to give the added feeling of cool light and also to aid in the turning of the form.   This accentuated coolness along the rim of all of all forms can also be seen in William Bouguereau’s works.  The pictured Dennis Miller Bunker portrait has also been a favorite of mine and illustrates this point nicely.  I would urge you to see their works first hand to study just how effective and evident this application is.

This study of warm and cool as it relates to light and form is discussed and demonstrated in great detail in our re-released Video “Her Mother’s Locket”.  The new On Demand streaming format released at a significantly lower price will enable you to watch this instruction from any computer or iPad with internet capability.   In the new version, we have also added hi-res photos to see the completed painting as it is being painted before you. You will see the 30 x 36 studio painting from start to finish with moment by moment commentary, sharing with the viewer the critical elements of building the design and execution of this work.

To purchase “Her Mother’s Locket” instruction, please click painting.

                                             Click image to see preview trailer…Thanks

book cover new web



2 responses to “Technical Insights from “Not Far from Home” #20

  • Jennifer Hoffman

    Really enjoying your blog, Dan! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge! This post reminded me of the valuable tidbit of info we gleaned from our figure painting instructor in art school. “Warm and cool colors turn the form.”. You could hear us chanting it in our studios and muttering it under our collective breath during class while scrubbing out yet another botched passage. 🙂

  • Laura Albiento

    Thank you for the reminder Dan.

    I pull out your book each time you post a “Technical Insight” and am either reminded of a lesson or learn a new one. This post for me makes turning the form with color temperatures very clear.

    Your book is such a treasure, a masterpiece inside and out!

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