Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Gouache Head Demo in Six Acts

Yesterday at a college coffeehouse, I did a little gouache demo on Facebook Live.

In case you don't do Facebook or missed the live stream, here's the archived video. The demo is broken up into six chapters because the stream kept freezing for some reason. 

You can skip ahead to episodes 4, 5, and 6 if you want to get to the main part of the painting.

Part 1 Intro—Sketchbook walkthrough

Part 2 —Drawing starts at very end

Part 3 —Pencil drawing and painting background

Part 4—Painting shadows, cutting edges, and defining basic forms.

Part 5—Lighter halftones

Part 6 —Dark accents, refining contours, losing edges

The point of this grisaille study was to present a good exercise for those of you who are getting to know gouache, or who are just getting into painting. You can do most of your drawing with the brush, and here the main focus is on value rather than worrying about color.

The head is one that I sculpted based on George Bridgman's analysis of the head, and it's intended to show the simplified planes of the head, keeping in mind the skull underneath, but ignoring the surface features.
(b)  Highpass filtered face; (c)  Lowpass filtered face (source)
This 'big plane' approach to the head also corresponds to what neuropsychologists call the 'low spatial frequency' forms of the face—the big, blurry forms—as opposed to the network of smaller lines that beginning artists usually draw first. Those low spatial frequency forms are perceived peripherally, and play a big role in facial recognition and perception of emotion. Read more about the work of Margaret Livingstone and visual perception of faces here.

Portraits in the Wild 
Download (66 minutes, 1080p HD widescreen MP4 video) Available at Gumroad and Sellfy.
DVD (NTSC widescreen with slideshow) Available from Kunaki.com and from Amazon


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting it on the blog! It's really great to see it, despite my lack of facebook.

Where are you guys going in Canada?

Tobias Gembalski said...

Great to see you going through some of your sketchbooks. What a treat. Thanks.

Gayle said...

I can't access the videos. There is message in each one: This video is not available. I'm wondering if anyone else encountered this problem?

James Gurney said...

Gayle, I'm not sure why it's not working for you. It shows up with playable controls on my laptops and iPad. Do you have a FB account? Maybe it only plays if you're signed in. Hmmm.

Gayle said...

Thanks James - I'll try to go the FB route.

Warren JB said...

I second A Main's sentiments. Much appreciated!

On that note, to Gayle: I don't have a Facebook account either, but I can see the videos. Although I'm not sure if that helps much...

Unknown said...

Initially I could not see the videos either - no links, nothing but blank spaces. Being logged in on FB had no effect. Finally found out that with Firefox browser you cannot use the Private Browsing mode and you must allow it to remember history (you can still use the custom history settings to set it to clear history when FF closes). Works fine now that I changed those settings.

Gayle said...

Thanks Warren and Ted for your comments re viewing the videos. I'll give it another try!

Jared Cullum said...

Thank you for this! I was away for the day and missed it. Portraits is fantastic, by the way. Thank you.

bernicky said...

The container for the video truncates it - at least on my Windows 7, machine both on Google Chrome v51 and IE 11. I tried it on my iPod and it works just fine, full frame so the problem is likely not with the video or the feed but with the container.

Carlos said...

James, thanks for posting the videos since for those who don't use Facebook, like myself. Have you tried Ustream? I think it might work much better for a live broadcast. Cheers.

James Gurney said...

Bernicky, I know what you mean, but the container was a 9x16, with a square inside. On my devices, the square was fully visible. I could recalibrate the embed to get the whole container to fit, but then the square would be smaller.

Carlos, I think the interruption may have something to do with the way the wifi network was configured at the college, namely to restrict two-way streaming, so the large upload speed may not have been the only metric that mattered.

Warren JB said...

I had a problem with truncation of the video area myself. On my tablet, the right side was chopped off so I couldn't tap the fullscreen button. But the videos were downloadable - only while they're already playing, strangely - and play fullscreen from the tablet's storage. (I just hope I'm not violating any copyright that way!)

It's a little more complicated on a PC or laptop. (Complicated for me - I just found this with the digital equivalent of poking it with a stick) I right-clicked on the video; clicked 'inspect' (in Chrome); right-clicked the address in the right-hand column (under 'elements' and 'styles', starting with 'video.php'); copied and pasted that into the address bar; and snipped off the '&width=560' at the end.
That brings the full video up, but still a bit ill-fitting for a maximised window. Video controls show up when you reduce the window a little, then you can click 'full screen' from there.

James Gurney said...

Warren and Bernicky, I've changed the HTML code for episodes 5 and 6 to include the full post and full frame. Let me know if the envelope on those embeds works better.

Gayle said...

Yeah! The videos are working for me now! Big thank you to James and everyone who offered suggestions.

Terry Krysak said...

Thanks very much for the demo, that was great.

A few people I follow use Ustream with success and not to many issues with it.
Some folks also use Google Hangouts with success as well.