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  • Zarahn Southon

Structure demo - the chin


Today I will show examples of structures within the chin. When form painting my aim for the first twenty minutes is to recognise structures and the effect of light reflecting from the surface. Close at hand is my copy of The Dictionary of Human Form by Ted Seth Jacobs.

To the right is the dry dead colouring from a previous session. Although I do most hue and tonal work after the first twenty minutes I begin with the aim to mix my palette colours as close to the hue and tone that I see.

For the first twenty minutes I apply general planes of colour and tone in relation to the light source. I use my special medium of dammar, turpentine and stand oil.

The light source is coming from the model's top left. All form turning toward the light on my top right are light and form turning away move into the dark light. When the form turns abruptly away from the primary light source the shadow begins. At this stage it's important to keep my attention to the larger underlying form. In this case it is a winged-cam shape.

The general large shape of the chin is a winged-cam shape. It is outlined in green.

Note the overlapping form moving away from my line of sight. (top left of example) As well as wedge structures attaching the chin to the beginning of the jaw line.(bottom right)

On top of the larger shape is a series of planes. I paint them cutting across the direction of the light. I think of these strokes as "chiselling" into a stone block. Each plane is placed along non-parallel and irregular lines. These lines run both longitudinally and latitudinally. Below the latitudinal lines are highlighted in green.

Below is the final chin structure. I have looked to clarify specific form with rounding the overall shape and resolving smaller stacked structures. Getting bogged down in identifying specific smaller form can create the sense of inorganic form. The shapes can appear to crash into one another. Everything can start to appear parallel and mechanistic. All natural form slides in and through one another. I try to create a sense of harmony with suturing the ends of form. I will post a demonstration about rounding, stacking and suturing at a later date.


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