May 22, 2012

Painting Portraits in Oils workshop - Day 4 & 5

Second stage painting
We started by oiling in the previous days work to bring the tones back up. Martinho gave a demo on second stage painting where you use the values mapped out previous and model the form more and bring out some of the varied colours in each area. We also looked at the work of other portrait painters to compare their handling of the subject and paint such as Raeburn and Sargent.
I turned the painting upside down, which is a little optical trick to help me see the variation in the values and negatives shapes easier.The focus was to refine the work a little more and get to second stage painting in just one area. At lunch I took advantage of the last day of the half off sale at Cactus Art and got a bunch of new brushes, how could I resist, they were only 50 cents each,and some had sticker prices of over $10.
As you can see, I got a handful and it was all under $20. They also gave me this brush tote for free to carry them in.
I decided to begin whit the seemingly easiest portion of the body for second stage development the legs. I was having a frustrating time and spent nearly the entire day working them to create that feeling of dimension while maintaining the true fall of light. At time it was a frustrating challenge.
It was necessary for me to bump up the chroma. They appeared dulled down and grey. I added more Persian red. Doing this made it much easier to closely resemble the original hues and create more form.
 I sat here and worked for at least 8 hours. The tabaret to my left has been emptied of supplies in this shot, but I tell you this little rolling shelf is such a valuable device. To break the monotonoy of just working on the legs, I danced around a bit in other areas, including the shadows.

By the end of the day I was overjoyed with my progress. Surprised at how much I could accomplish and how well it turned out. That's one of the secrets of making art, of not wrecking what you have done or going to far. You have got to know when to quit.......... quit while you are ahead!

That led me into a fun but busy week-end at Quickdraw Animation Society's Retro Lock down.

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