The background is standing out a bit too much so to knock it down without changing the subtle tones I am mixing Ultramarine Blue with a lot oil to make a clear. The car guys call it a “candy”. Just put a nice smooth coat over everything in the background and go from this:
I am still wrestling with the skin tones on Atlas. Darker or not? Feel free to let me know what you think.
Continuing the flesh tones down into the legs you can see here two different mixes of paint from two different painting sessions. They don’t quite match. Maybe one of the bulbs was out on his tanning bed.
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.
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.