Illustrator Anand Radhakrishnan reveals his process of painting a live model in oil and also talks about his colour choices while depicting skin lit by sunlight
Painting or drawing from life regularly is an important practice because of the many benefits of having the model present in front of you, instead of being a two-dimensional photograph.
Doing so trains the eye to see how the form turns and how light affects the colours on the human skin. It also encourages the artist to work faster and make colour choices on the go, because in most cases the model is available only for a limited amount of time. Another important aspect of painting from life is that the human eye is capable of seeing more depth and colour on the live model as opposed to a camera or monitor.
The term ‘alla prima’ is simply the technique of oil painting where layers of wet paint are applied on wet paint, usually in a short space of time. Oil can be a challenging medium to use, especially when working fast from life, but it’s also a flexible medium in the sense that you can layer it endlessly and simply scrape off parts that you don’t particularly like, before repainting. It’s one of the few mediums that give you large variety of textures and colours.
I usually have a friend or acquaintance sit for me in my studio space, where I can use sunlight as my source and pose the model accordingly. Anand is a freelance illustrator who works in Mumbai, India. He takes his inspiration from masters such as Moebius, Alphonse Mucha and Jeffrey Jones. www.behance.net/anandrk