Let’s take a look at the process for my Macbeth painting.
Last year I had to paint a poster for a play or a musical (some type of theatre). My limitations were that I had to use only 4 colors, with the addition of black and white. I chose to paint a poster for the play Macbeth. I thought that I’d give painting with gouache another chance since I had pretty much abandoned it since my color theory class a few years ago.
The four colors I used were Flame Red (Holbein), Permanent Yellow Deep (Holbein), Iris (Holbein), and Primary Blue (Winsor & Newton). In addition to those four colors I was allowed to use white and black. I used Permanent White (Winsor & Newton) and Jet Black (Winsor & Newton).
You can see the thumbnail sketches I did below:
I found a Sketchup model of a person and set up lighting to find the direction of the cast shadow. I’d like to use Sketchup more in the future.
After the pencilled image was drawn I needed to decide what colors to use for the painting. I printed two reduced 3″ x 4″ images of my pencilled drawing and taped them to some cardboard with painters tape. Below are the two color studies I did:
After the color studies were finished I proceeded with the painting.
The trickiest part of the painting (besides maintaining a consistent viscosity of paint) was painting Macbeth’s flesh without mixing the colors together. Although I could use four colors plus black and white, I could not mixed the colors together (except with black and white). For example, I could not mix red and yellow together to make a nice orangey flesh color. I had to use red plus white and/or black, yellow plus white and/or black, without overlapping.
After the painting was completed I scanned it into the computer for the usual color correcting and removal of dust from the scanned images. My teacher recommended that I make the shadow a little lighter and I thought the painting looked better that way as well. I lightened the shadow a little bit and then I added the text.
If you don’t know the story of Macbeth, I highly recommend reading it. It’s a great story and although I read it years ago, it still resonates in my mind.