Oil on canvas board, 12 x 16″
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Thumbnail sketch (1.75×2.5″) in sketchbook for painting
Ink in small Moleskine notebook
(original sketch at SF Museum of Modern Art cafe)
A few weeks ago I went to see the Picasso and American Art exhibit at SFMOMA and was inspired by this woman’s thick, grey hair in a giant clip and the way the teeth of the clip separated her her hair. I also took a photo of her while I was there (below) but the view was different from my drawing so I didn’t end up referring to it when I made the painting. I’m still struggling with oils and acrylics but this one was a little easier because I stuck to black, white and 3 grays. I had intended this to be an underpainting and was going to glaze over it with the colors of eggplant and chocolate but decided to leave it because I like it the way it is.
I used Gamblin Chromatic Black for the darkest darks which is not a dead black pigment like most. From the Gamblin website: “Chromatic Black is black, but it has no black pigment in it. It is made from two perfect complements: Quinacridone Red and Phthalo Emerald.” For the grays I used Gamblin’s Portland Greys in light, medium and deep. So there was no color mixing, just a value study and an attempt to get some control with applying and blending oil paints.