Today I am working on the life size figure of my painting Danae. I am using a photo references, but they always feel flat to me, to change that I draw from the photo as if I am sculpting it. The cross-hatching marks are going in directions as if my thumb was massaging the foot, moving in and around the forms. Just the directional lines are not enough and they have to be incorporated with light and shadow, i.e. core shadows, reflective light in the shadows, middle tones. I find it helpful to think of the toe as huge landscape, or massive boulder, this is so that I take my time with tiny details. Hopefully these details then work will with making the figure more real, but add life and vitality to the painting — taking the painting up a notch. If that does not happen I recalibrate, and maybe get the model to come in again.
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 1/3/2021