Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, to my mom in New York and to all moms everywhere.

This is a copy of the Mary Cassatt painting Sleepy Baby (1910), shown below. The original painting is in pastel; my copy is in watercolor. I thoroughly enjoyed painting this and learned a lot also.
  • I love Cassatt's use of color. Look at the bright yellow in the baby's neck and hair, and the bright orange in the baby's hair and bottom. Where mother and child touch (cheek-to-cheek and hand-to-bottom), the colors are warm red-oranges, suggesting the love of a mother for her child. These colors probably were not present in reality. Rather, Cassatt added color to convey her interpretation of reality.
  • Even though the colors in the mother and child are all light, there are still distinct value changes. For example, to clearly separate the child's arms from the mother's skin, the values of the child's arms need to be different from the values of the mother's chest and arm.
  • Many of the cooler shadows are blue, which gave me a little trouble. I was using Yellow Ochre and Blue Cerulean, which mix to green (e.g., the baby' chest). A moldy baby is not good! I need to research how to use blue and yellow in watercolor without getting green.

I am going to do more master copies ... it is fun and educational.


Lorie M. said...

A really nice post. I love her and O'keefe a lot.

Laurel Neustadter said...

Thanks. I'm a big fan of Georgia O'Keefe as well.