Creation Update: Hands and Airiness of Shadows

Newberry, Creation, wip, oil on linen, 64x48". July 21, 2022.
Newberry, Creation, wip, oil on linen, 64×48″. July 21, 2022.
Newberry, Creation, detail hands, wip, oil on linen, 64x48". July 21, 2022.
Newberry, Creation, detail hands, wip, oil on linen, 64×48″. July 21, 2022.

This morning’s progress on their forward hands, that are also mostly in shadow. My students will tell you that I try to get them to put airiness in their shadows. If shadows get too dark and rich, then they appear enameled, my polite way of saying their shadows look like turds. Airiness has a dusty feeling to it. Imagine a shinny black-lacquered table top covered in a year’s worth of dust. That is what you want for shadows. The dustiness feels and gives mystery and, oddly, gives more light to the lit areas. Intuitively, you would think the blackest black would set-off the light areas. Instead, it flattens the space in the painting, which then kills the light. The aesthetics gets really complicated, but depth along with form are essential for creating light. Flatness destroys everything meaningful in fine art.

In this painting with space as the background and all the shadows 97% transparent, the shadows are imbued literally with airiness. I would call this a technical theme in the painting. I use airiness to create the shadows, and the shadows are the stuff of the universe. Hence the man and women in the painting contain the universe.

Michael, Idyllwild, July 21, 2022

Newberry, Michael:

Depth
Thoughts on the Psychological and Physiological Aspects of Spatial Depth
Transparency – A Key to Spatial Depth in Painting Part 2, Color
Transparency – A Key to Spatial Depth in Painting Part 1, Black/White

Shadows
Monet’s Cast Shadows
Workshop Series: Find the Shadows First

Light
Drive Towards the Light, Not the Thing
Colors of Light and Shadow
Anatomy of Light
Advancements in Painting Light

Form
Michelangelo’s Drawings: The Conceptual Transformation from Touch to Sight
Feeling the Form
Seek the Big Form: Study Sculpture

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