For example, recently I have been painting in Scott Nickerson's life class at Colorest in Red Bank, New Jersey. Below is my first figure painting after four sessions. This work has been developed entirely with paint and brush. The first phase was to do a line drawing with a raw sienna type of color, followed by block in of the shadow shapes using the same paint, followed by the application of color spots and firming up the outline by placing the dark background.
The paints are great for wet in wet painting. If applied thickly they dry very slowly and can be blended easily. However, if applied thinly they will set up relative quickly and it is possible to gently paint another layer over the first without the colors mixing. However, the thin layer remains workable for hours and can be blended with with another layer with firmer brush work.
This provides tremendous flexibility as you work from under drawing to various color spots and transition, as well as give and take as you tune the shape and the background edges.
Another property of the paints is that the purity of the pigments in the modern color pallet allows for extensive mixing to attain the desired hue and control the value and intensity, without the fear of creating mud. This facilitates color pool management of the paints on the pallet.
Pictured below is my pallet that I have used for the four weeks of the painting process in the life figure class. You can see the many nuances of color that have been attained. If you compare the pallet photo to the figure painting above, you can spot where each of the colors on the figure reside on the pallet!
Since i keep the pallet in a sealed container when not in use, the exact same paint mixtures have been available to me for the two week period and will stay workable for a month or two, based on my experience.
The greatest challenge of moving into the portrait and life painting genres has been to develop the appropriate color pools for this type of work. As covered in the Painting Methodology section of the website, the modern color pallet is capable of mixing an extremely wide range of colors with seven pigments, plus white and black. This is great. While the other students in the class are running to buy a new magic pigment and carry a container of dozens of tubes of paint to class, all I have to do is to figure out how to mix my limited pallet and attain the same results that they can, without the fear of mixing mud. A great capability in my estimation!
Interesting enough, my pallet in the portrait class did not evolve as well as the figure pallet. I will write more about this as I formalize my approach to pallet management and color mixing for portrait and figure work. However, I have come to the conclusion that the reason that i had more trouble in the portrait work was that I tried to mix a number of isolated color pools that each matched a classic color. This lead me to a confusing disjoint approach to color. Based on my figure work, I think I have developed an approach using a single color pool that can be pushed in various direction to cover the full gamut of colors that are required. I will write more on this in the future.