Friday, September 14, 2012

Profile Painting Step by Step

I've developed a really annoying habit.  I go up to complete strangers and say "Can I paint you?"  I could be at the grocery store, Walmart, the gym (on the gym floor - not in the steam room!).  I try to explain that I am a portrait artist and I think they have a great face.  Most people nod politely and then wait for the crazy lady to move along.  But luckily, sometimes they give me a call!

So I met Larry, a very cool guy - and a boxer (although that is only a small part of what he does - he actually does mixed martial arts).  I gave him my card and hoped he would give me a chance to paint him.  And...he did!  My fellow artist, a sculptor, also wanted some portrait practice so we set up a time and met at my studio.

I was working on an oil primed linen, 11" x 14".  I started with a light wash of transparent red oxide, then blocked it in.  I started adding some burnt umber to define some shapes.

This is where we both were at this point - the major size and shape blocked in, continuous minor adjustments on the placement and angles of the jawline and neck.

This is not a great photo, but these darker areas are actually shades of blue and purple.

I used cooler purples and browns on the face that was towards an open window with natural light, the warmer browns and reds were on the side, closer to an artificial yellow light source.

I continued to search for planar changes on his cheekbones, and adjusted the size of his ear.

In the final moments I added some definition to the background, adding some color, and just a small amount of highlight to his eye.

So...until I grab the next un-suspecting model...happy painting!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Still Life Paintings in the Studio

Over the past few weeks I have worked on several small, 8" x 8" still life paintings.  Kind of practice for myself, to step away from the figure and the portrait, to play with color, etc.

And this is a 9" x 12" oil on canvas

Most of these paintings are done in only one session, 90 - 120 minutes.  A couple areas are touched up in another short session, but I try to get a direct impression as quickly - and as fresh - as possible.

Ever since I built in the still life and storage shelves, I had been collecting all kinds of little cups and saucers and great fabric.  My favorite pastime is filling up my shelves with new little characters to work with!