Home » Famous Painting Study #2: Homer’s Sponge Diver

Famous Painting Study #2: Homer’s Sponge Diver

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Step 3: Layering Shadows And Anatomy


Add more Burnt Umber to your skin tone, and paint the darkest shadows on the diver. If excess paint starts to pool, use the tip of a clean brush to lift out the puddle. Paint the face and head last, and try to capture the different values (i.e. light vs dark) of the skull. For the skinhead look, add Cerulean Blue and Neutral Tint to your skin mixture for a warm gray, then paint the back of the head. Lift out highlights with the same method as before if necessary, then darken shadows by adding more Neutral Tint and Cobalt Blue Hue. Since the blue complements the orangey Burnt Sienna, it will create a good contrast, and balance out the orange where necessary.

Touch in a tiny bit of Viridian in the spine, then add more of the blue mixture and Neutral Tint to darken the head area. Darken the underarm areas as well for more depth. If your paper is too wet, let it dry a little before continuing, or else your colors will turn muddy and spread too much in this painting study.

To warm the skin tone again for that “sun-kissed skin” look, dilute Cadmium Red Purple and add a layer to the mid-tones. Finally, paint the darkest areas on the head by mixing more Neutral Tint and Cobalt Blue Hue before leaving the diver to dry.