Another collection of favorites from the personal inspiration files of Carlos San Millan. At first glance, this looks like a figurative study with the figure divided into abstracted patches of flat color. For some of the areas, paint has been scraped away, so that the color underneath can be seen through the top layer. San Millan calls this “mechanical glazing.” I notice something else, something I’ve been working on in some of my Thursday classes. It’s not present in all of the paintings, but in some of them (in the ones I find most interesting) the figure is divided by warm and cool, or complementary colors. This is sometimes applied to represent areas of light and shadow, but in this case, one side isn’t dark and the other side isn’t light. In these, one side is warm, while the other is cool. You can see this illustrated most clearly when I shift the painting (above) into black and white (below). The dark value is in the center, while the left and right are both light. Once the warm and cool tones are removed, the glowing impression of light is lost. Isn’t that fascinating? This has warm and cool complementary colors on the right and left sides. Look how the figure glows! Colors removed, no glow. A palette of warm yellows and oranges on the light side, cool violets on the right. Cool pinks and purples on the left, warm oranges on the right. Cool green/blue/brown tones on the left, warm dark wine colors on the right. This one isn’t with a palette of complementary colors, but it is in warm and cool: warm on the left, cool on the right. The color shifts are more subtle in this, and the effect of light is more dim. If you’re interested in exploring techniques of painting illusions of glow and light, take the Thursday class this winter. For the people who did not have sufficient time to practice the techniques introduced by Carlos San Millan, and for the people who were not able to attend his workshop, our winter Thursday class series just for you: Drawing & Painting the Effects of Light. This is an offshoot inspired by our wonderful visiting artist from Spain. Drawing & Painting the Effects of Light is not a realism class, and can be implemented in observational and abstract works alike, so artists of all media and genres are invited to sign up. The only requirement is that you have experience working in your chosen media, and foundational knowledge in whatever steps you use to create your artwork, enough so that we have something to attach the technical theories to. Click here to find out more.