|Romanesque Room, Pasadena's Castle Green|
Besides the interesting lecture, Mr Quang Ho also demonstrated his skill with the brush.
Sarah Streeter was the beautiful model on hand, illuminated by warm spot lights. I took a few notes of his work approach but I think, in this case, it is clear that it is a philosophical shift that has to occur before trying to adopt his particular habits or style.
A set of colors:
-Cadmium Yellow light
The browns get their own room:
-Transparent Red Oxide
Brushes are the ones everyone and their mother uses : Rosemary brushes and also Signet brand long filbert for that "Far East" feel, they have a life of their own. I think those brushes certainly add a calligraphic quality to the strokes.
I couldn't see the support. It looked like a standard primed board. Not too slick but smooth.
Quang Ho rarely uses any medium and, when he does, it is usually Liquin. He likes fluid painting so he avoids sticky thick mediums.
|Quang Ho's palette.|
He started by creating a warm greenish brown base, very loose and abstract, flying around the basic shapes of the model. It was mostly monochrome. When he was satisfied with the placement of the stain, he started by adding the base color, the "main" color as revealed by the light, right on the face, forehead area. He didn't get into the shadows until much later. This "starting with the lights" he says is unusual on him but he apologetically said he did it "because he wanted to."
"No ears, no nose or eyes, just shapes, only then you can see how important the eyelid casting a shadow on the pupil and the shawl providing most of the light within the cheek and neck are...."
|Very washed out picture. If someone has a better one, please send it.|
"If you make a choice of color, it's always the right choice." He said. "It's when you don't choose that things go awry". His brush work was determined, singular, no flashy scrubbing despite appearances, no dabs, no massaging. One brush stroke at a time.
"Where the light meets the shadow, that is where most interesting effects occur." The area of transition between light and shadow is where the local color really makes an appearance. The attention to the face underscores the focal point of the painting. But he mentioned that everyone disagrees about where the focal interest of a painting lies and one shouldn't be too obsessed with trying to create one focal point. The viewer always brings a bias.
There were no details for a long while, just chiseling of shapes with the flat brush. A keen observation of big shapes and gradations of color across the shape of the face.
The tremendous speed at which the portrait gained form was in step with the precise handling of large swatches of color . Every brush stroke contained the elements of shape, color and value. The "fun" as he called it started when he finally started leaving the face and building the clothing and hands, where the abstraction was more welcome.
|About 25 minutes into it|