Under sodium lights

Here's a small portrait sketch in oils from last night's life drawing session. The model is our session coordinator and sometime model, Miss Robin. I've been using far more paint of late--applying it thickly, with almost no added medium except what I need to make the paint workable, and drawing directly with the brush instead of relying on a preliminary underdrawing.  It's exhilarating.

direct painting portrait sketch in oils from life, Shannon Reynolds
A small portrait sketch in oil on panel (detail)
portrait sketch in oils from life, (detail) oil on panel, Shannon Reynolds
A portrait sketch of Miss Robin, oil on panel (detail)

The light in the room where we draw is lit with low pressure sodium lights, which are great for energy efficiency, but terrible for colour rendering accuracy.  Under those lights, I lose all perception of the red spectrum, which isn't a problem when I'm drawing, but is a definite challenge when painting. I always emerge from the room with a far more highly saturated painting than what I'd perceived.  Last night I paid closer attention to my colour mixes and tried to get the tones right, so the painting isn't quite as far off as usual.  Still, it's a little like painting while colour blind.  I love the Cambridge life sessions, so maybe I'll look into getting some kind of clip-on light with high colour rendering index to take with me on painting nights.

A portrait sketch of  Miss Robin, oil on panel, 11" x 14"

No comments: