The lay-in is the initial application of opaque paint, wet paint brushed onto a dry wash-in. If your wash-in values are accurate, you've established a good foundation for your lay-in. Reilly offers a specific sequence for this crucial stage in painting. Begin with known quantities. The absolute darkest dark, called the accent, where no light exists is painted first, using black warmed with a little Alizarin Crimson. It is easy to spot and gives the painter a good parameter to start with on the dark end of the value scale. It will help determine the value of the shadow. Next paint the shadows, lights, halftones, highlights and finally reflected light.
3 Parts to a Picture
Simply put, the background is flat and should stay behind the figure.
For the form of the drapery, mix two lights (top, and front planes) and one shadow.
For the form of the model, use three lights, one shadow.
Brush paint on first with the action first, then with the form.
Brush the paint onto the planes.
Initially try to combine all of the areas in the light into a simple graphic shape, ignoring small shapes and isolated darks in the light. Make a similar massing in the shadow, ignoring isolated lights in the dark. This will help establish the action.
The Effect of Light
In a typical indoor setting, the part of the figure closest to, and at a perpendicular angle to the light source is five values lighter than the shadow. The part of the figure at a somewhat oblique angle to the light source, the darkest light, is 3 values lighter than the shadow. The effect of light is the result.
Factors affecting the light on the form
Size has little effect, but the amount of light, distance from the light, and angle towards the light are relevant. Also the texture, and the difference between locals.
From Reilly's notes:
The success of a painting is due to the lay-in.
The putting down of paint so as to execute the final stage.
The paint mixed and put down are called averages.
The correct averages make a condition called the poster.
The lay-in sets the complexion of the model.
The averages are the local condition in chiaroscuro (light-shadow)
-so each local is to be mixed in light & shadow
-the poster is the look of the chairoscuro together as a pattern.
© 2011 John Ennis
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