Thursday 17 June 2010

Latest Indian Paintings

Acoma Woman 1900 16" x 12" Not

American Horse Oglala Sioux 1880
18" x 14" Waterford Not

Sitting Bull Huncpapa Sioux Holy Man
15" x 11" Fabriano Artistico Not.

I've done several of Sitting Bull because he has such a strong face. Some of the others aren't bad, one posted previously,  but I think this better. I recently found a new photograph on . American Horse was also a famous warrior and I wanted to try a portrait with a different angle. This is the second try with a different indian subject.

As for the Acoma woman I know little about her, again culled from first people, but I was intrigued by the sense of mystery in the photograph. I have changed things quite a bit because on the photo she was surrounded by very dark shadows. I tried a main colour scheme of Maimeri Avignon Orange (PR206) and
complementary colours Rowney's Viridian (PG18) and Hookers Green (PG7/PO48) Maimeri version. There is some doubt about the inclusion of PO48 as it is now supposedly unavailable. The Windsor and Newton and Rowney equivalents to Avignon Orange are Brown Madder and  Transparent Red Brown respectively. Even though the pigment is the same the colours may vary slightly with different manufacturing processes. In all three cases the faces were painted using a mixture of Cadmium Red Light (PR108), Cadmium Yellow Light (PY35) darkened where appropriate with either Cerulean (PB35), Cobalt Blue Deep (PB72) or Ultramarine Blue (PB29). I emphasize pigments rather than `colours' as suggested by Bruce McEvoy of Handprint.

I'm fairly happy with the paintings of Sitting Bull and American Horse but concerned about the Acoma woman. I experimented with the Shirley Trevena method of creating texture by using some emery paper on the coloured core of watercolour pencils and getting flecks of colour but I think it either didn't work well or I need to improve my method of doing it. It has tended to dirty the colour. Paint in haste repent at leisure! I shall another try at this one. Footnote added later: This portrait didn't work unfortunately and it just wasn't the attempt to add texture. I shall try again.

One change I have made is that, following Charles Reid suggesting in one of his books that pan colours might be better with which to paint the face, I did so then switched to tube colours.


Unknown said...

The second two are very strong portraits but there's something unsettling about the first. After spending a bit of time looking I don't think that the major flaw is the Trevena method although the colour isn't as strong as in the other two. I think that the drawing isn't as confident as the others and the light doesn't feel right. The place that this is most obvious is at the side of the nose where some shadow would give it form and between the eyes where the face reads as white and flat. You do well posting your not so successful pieces alongside your quality stuff, hopefully you will generate some discussion. Have you thought about posting on Wet Canvas where you'd definitely get some discussion going. It's worth a look at

Peter Ward said...

I think the original drawing was fairly okay Mick, certainly not perfect but if you saw the photo you'd understand the dilemma and difficulties in turning it into a painting. I just wonder how Charles Reid would tackle it. You've just got the central shape of the features surrounded by dead black shadow, no graduation at all. I've already decided it hasn't worked and will try again. If I can get it right it would be striking. I may try and post the original photo as Fistpeople doesn't object as long as the source is acknowledged.

Anonymous said...

Is there anymore information you can give on this subject. It answers a lot of my questions but there is still more info I need. I will drop you an email if I can find it. Never mind I will just use the contact form. Hopefully you can help me further.

- Robson