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The Materials of the Workshop “The oil Study of a Plaster Hand”

While studding figure painting you should especially focus on analyzing feet and hands.

It is reasonable to make sketches of the feet and the hands of a life model. Also it is worth to devote your attention to plaster ones. Plaster model enables to examine the form of foot deeper because it is self-coloured.

Nowadays the market of plaster models needs to be improved. The hand of David (Michelangelo) is the best one out of everything you can buy now.

Comparing with the hand of Aphrodite and the hand of the écorché model David’s hand is the most intresting one. First one is too smoothed, second one is too rough.

Comparing with that two hands the David’s one is more expressive. However there is a disadvantage: it does not have an internal part.

The light source should be placed in order to make the shape more obvious. It means that it is preferable to illuminate different planes in a different way.

To analyze the form of the hand we are doing a pencil sketch first.

We delineate the composition and right away estimate the proportions. Considering the fact that the cardboard has not been toned before, we are making outline and the background in acrylic. So far as the hand is light on a dark brawn background, we should right away roughly catch tonal relations.

Add undertints and shades. We may leave the light areas and paint the background.

Thereby we are working on our study entirely, minding the solid impression.

Make the light spots more various and deepen the background. Make the outline more precise. Look at your work at a distance in order to check the entire impression.

Next painting session alter the undertones, shades and lights; make the shape of the parts more precise. Look at a distance.

Finally, varnish faded areas (mostly dark ones). Make the tonal transitions more gradual; alter the shape of the parts.

Oleg Toropygin