The primary argument for focusing on hands in erotic work is that they are a point of contact and connection. Too often the focus is on penetration of some kind, and I think in erotic art, a lot of folks miss out on a chance to really let the hands be the subject of the picture.
Here are five key things that really stuck out to me in these exercises:
- Seen brush strokes are valuable. When I try to get it right the first time, I tend to pay more attention to the forms I'm trying to create.
- Drawing never stops. I work in a style where I'm mixing painting and drawing throughout the whole process. Not being afraid to go in and do some technical drawing was really helpful for defining anatomy.
- Warmth in Darkness. I found that working with blood and shadowed [darker] skin tones was useful. As I recall, the warmer colors were useful around the knuckles, and the points of entry to the body, while the darker colors were useful for outlines.
- Highlights define subtle, smaller forms. Key elements like tendons and veins have their own shape, which means light is going to reflect differently along the surfaces of these elements.
- Hard Edges are important for penetration / subject definition. I tend to work without a lot of hard edges, but they need to be there -- particularly in the focus of the painting. This generally translates to "More attention spent drawing out the Subject of the painting."
A great source for more information on this style of painting:
Read the first chapter "Good Ideas and Free Advice", and then try doing a study of one of the paintings to get an idea about how those "Good Ideas" are applied in Schmidt's technique.
I'll definitely be returning to Alla Prima throughout my studies.