Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Portrait Painting Step by Step

I know!  Two posts in two days?!?! Crazy!

This is a recent oil portrait on acrylic primed canvas (I only mention the acrylic primed because I am trying to pay a lot more attention to my surfaces...trying new types of canvas and seeing what works best for me).  I think the size is 16" x 20".  The young man in the photo was walking into a restaurant near my studio just as I was leaving.  Much to my husband's delight I walked up to the young man and asked if he'd be interesting in modeling for a portrait sometime.  Well, he was incredibly nice, and turns out he is a very talented musician as well.  (I also took several shots of him playing his guitar - I loved his relaxed stance as he started to sing)

Anyway...this shot was great - taken against the antique stone wall in my studio, just out of the light from the window.

I started by blocking in the large shapes - no under painting really - just right in with a close approximation of value and color.

A little more pushing and pulling on the edges - does the hair have to move to the left? does the chin tilt down more?  Big shapes and relationships...no detail.

Starting to define the end of the nose, the eye (keeping all of the details in the shadows - the eye should not pop out of the socket) and the mouth

Considered the background more at this stage - deepened the shadows, added more color to the shirt.  I wanted to be sure the value of my skin tone was correct in the context.

Finished blocking in the background, re-evaluated the highlights on the face, started to define the dreadlocks

To be continued...final product coming soon :)

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