My last painting of my art class friend, was just a lead in to this painting.
I planned to make two pictures and to have a go at a large (large for me) canvas. This picture is 18 x 24.
I wanted to make this about the subject, so I have used Heathers paintings for the background and included her painting shirt and some of her own hand crafted jewellery
After not liking the acrylic ground used on my last picture I had already added it to this canvas so had to go with it, I used charcoal instead of the acrylic pen for my sketch.
I am living with it for a while as I think it is finished but I might just work the shadow side of the face some more, does it need to be darker? I cannot decide.
Took me a while to ask my friend from my art class if she would be my subject, I was pleased I did as she was more than helpful, I shared my ideas with her and we took some pictures for me to work from.
My approach is to start with some sketches and then moved on to painting, this works better than diving straight on in with the paint and gives you time to understand the subject.
I found using acrylic to ground your canvas is quick but I found the oil paint went on better when the oil under painting had been done, I probably won’t start with acrylic next time. also tried a black acrylic paint pen for my drawing, it was good that it didn’t vanish but it took some painting out.
I struggled to paint her hair, it’s one thing I really don’t have a good approach to, this time after a couple of goes I tried under painting the shapes and tones, when this was dry I used a rigger brush to add detail, this seams to have worked out ok, something to explore more.
Tried reusing one of my old canvas boards, by painting on a couple of layers of gesso, it covered the original ok and seemed to give a ok surface, but painting on it was like painting on gritty sandpaper, so not the way to go for future recycling.
Thanks to Iain McKell for his reference picture of modern Gypsies.
Back in 2009 I started to follow Benoit Paille on flickr I was inspired by his portrait photography , although it seems miles away from his current work the pictures stuck in my head.
I have used his photograph “girl in a subway” for referance in my latest attempted at a painting, this is water based oils on canvas board and I have included some of my process pictures, to see how my process changes as I progress with my painting.
Spent a wonderful day painting with Chris Guest in London. A first for me painting all day from a model, picked up a new approach to painting , a few tips on materials and how to mix candy floss pink. All in all a good day.
Thanks to Chris for his instruction, I have gesso and board ready to have another go. Just need to find me a model with candy floss pink hair.
Life class and we are using the wrong end of a paint brush dipped in ink to produce some really uncontrolled sketches, tried to focus on hands perhaps that was not such a good idea. as always I enjoyed the experience and its yet another thing I need to explore more.
Seems like I have taken forever painting this picture, I am putting it down as finished and going to start another project. Makes me think I should have couple of things on the go at one time but this might just bring even more confusion to my muddled brain.
So for now it’s coming down off my easel and here’s for a new beginning whatever that might be!
Finally my Bowie picture is finished, I have been trying to work out how to best photograph my art, canvas has a great texture but it catches the light from every direction.
Finding an evenly lit room and a location out of any direct light is working best, tripod and timed shutter release so you get hand free works well too.
As you can see the wet ear that I was struggling with has dried out, I had some cracking that is down to not following the fat on lean rule, like everything, lesson learned.
I have been following a set of posts on Will Kemps Art school blog and having a go at my first oil painting, to be honest it’s my second but I abandoned my first as I really did not know how to approach using oil paints.
So painting over the first and following the structured approach I feel I have some sort of foundation to continue.
I have one snag not sure if it’s because I painted over my first painting or I just added too much oil to my mix I seem to have a wet ear, I am hoping time will sort this out.
Still I am pleased with my efforts and inspired to try again..
Lesson 2 of Will Kemps painting a black and white portrait in oils and I am re-establishing the shadows and adding the highlights, this according to Will is all about seeing and appreciating the shapes and form in the subject without getting into the detail, I must admit I do feel ready to move onto lesson 3 but as I am learning, with oils you have to wait.
Another tip I picked up is to make a sketch of your painting again thinking about the tones and shapes so I have done that, after getting a few things really wrong it’s something I will better understand in my painting hopefully getting them right.