Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Artist Spotlight: Todd M. Casey

The painting below titled “Limoncello” was painted and donated to the Portrait Society of America for their annual Mystery Art Sale. Each year they ask a list of artists to donate a small 6 x 9 painting that gets auctioned off with the proceeds benefitting their student scholarship fund.
I paint using both the direct and indirect methods. For this painting, I chose to paint indirectly. Therefore, I set up a drawing to work out the composition and size and then scan the drawing into the computer and scale it to the correct size. The drawing is printed to scale and transferred to panel/canvas with the oil paint transfer method (similar to carbon paper method or Saral).

When setting up my panel, I knew that I would have a very warm painting with a lot of yellow and green, so I chose to also have a warm undertone under the painting. This allows me to be looser with the paint so that the warm undertones can poke through areas of opaque paint over the top. You can complement the color to balance it as well (I often do a neutral grey #5 toned panel) but I wanted to try warm with warm. This was toned with burnt sienna.
After the drawing is transferred, I normally set up my value range by putting in the darkest dark (background) and the lightest light (napkin). This helps me complete the painting in the middle of those 2 poles and I can judge all values based off of these 2 markers. Also, a high chroma object will stand out more against a black background so I often set up my paintings to have this 1-2 punch. It focuses on the object and really makes it pop.

Next I begin by rendering a high chroma object to set up my chromatic hierarchy. I knew that the liquid in the mini carafe is lower chroma than the lemon so now I have room to gauge this off of. Sometimes I do a quick grisaille to set up the value range but I’m often too excited so I just go for it.

I started with lemonade as the liquid in the container because I try to use props that are more economical. But I ended up buying a bottle of Limoncello as the liquid didn’t look believable enough. 
From here I put in some color notes on each object to show the value/hue and chroma based off of what I set up already. After this, its smooth sailing as the painting is pretty much set up and just needs to be put all together. At the end I work on edges and make sure the color is compositionally balanced and if not, I’ll tip things slightly.

Todd completed his classical training at both the Water Street Atelier and Grand Central Academy in 2010. He's returning to teach the upcoming 3-day workshop: The Still Life Sketch at GCA October 10 - 12. Visit our website to read more and register.  Visit his website to view more of his work.

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