Flesh tones are tough to mix. You can lean to far pink or to far orange and a mythical god does not do spray tan. I am using red, yellow, burnt sienna, and strangely green. This creates a dark “brown” but as you add it to white the flesh color reveals itself. I start with the face which is about the size of your thumb print so I am painting some subtle shapes and letting the pencil marks show through.
Moving down to the muscles the trick is use your darks and lights to shape the muscles by staying true to the light source. My anatomy classes from college are paying off for me here. I dissected a lot of formaldehyde soaked animals learning the underlying structures.
Painting hair is something I haven’t mastered yet. I’ll be doing a lot of repainting in the next few weeks.
Here is some more work on the sketch including fixing the lion and refining Orion…and you thought nothing rhymed with lion didn’t you? Yes you did.
The circles are place holders for the stars of the constellation that I will paint in later. I have a lot of work to do to push all that into the background.
I think I have the earth nearly finished. That will be interesting to paint.
Finally, a closer look at some of the elements.
Yes Atlas is a mythical god so why the cheap sandals and loin cloth? Should he not be wearing some kind of gold tunic? Well, holding up the earth is hot and dirty work so consider this his yard work jeans.
While refining the sketch of Atlas I have completely redrawn the head. I changed the tilt of his head to create a more somber almost regretful or defeated expression. Draping his hair over his face creates a sense of fatigue.
I have started drawing the earth which has cracked open as it landed having been shrugged off or dropped from shoulder level. I once watched a weight lifter try one too many reps and he dumped 600 pounds off his shoulders. The bar crashed to the floor and rocked the entire gym. It was quite an attention grabber.
I began researching how the stars in the background would look and I did a little reading about the Orion constellation. Orion is known as the Hunter and often appears hunting a lion with a club. In a black and white sketch Orion appears more prominent than he will in the finished painting. I need to keep him subtle enough not to draw attention away from the central figure of Atlas.
This next painting is straight from my own imagination. I have been painting a lot lately and as I work through this one I think I can’t help but think I have polished my chops a bit. I have a long way to go but I really feel I am getting there. Let’s start sketching.
That captures the basic shape of it so let’s start refining and adding detail.
The face and head are a little off but muscles have some mass and density. It’s a good start so keep working.
At this point all the elements are in and the painting is nearly finished. Time stop and think on it a bit.One more good going over to adjust some of the tones. Now I think it is time to send this one on its way.