Portraiture in Process

I’m no portrait artist. I illustrate scenes and imbed characters into their magical habitats. Ill create weird creature imaginings that prompt the question, “What was she on?” But today I will attempt a portrait. It’s important to mix things up from time to time, yeah? Plus, it’s a school project. 

So first, I found a picture of my daughter and I  with a somewhat interesting composition. I created some thumbnail sketches, using rough box dimensions that matched a 24″x36″ canvas. I’m proud of those canvas dimensions! Bigger is better kind of thing. And the sketches are great because you can play around with shadow, subject placement, thickness of line, etc. before you ruin your canvas!

And then, taking a look at figure painters like Jenny Saville and George Baselitz, I created some color palette ideas. My last thumbnail sketch was using the oil paint I created the palette with. 

To give some tooth to the painting, I used modeling paste on the canvas. With a thick-bristled brush, you can hit the paste in a tapping motion and give it a grainy texture OR just use real sand, grubbies, dirt, whatever’s laying around. Vary the texture, as my professor would say. Mix up the little grainy parts with long swooping strokes of paste. Then let dry for a day or so, making sure its perfectly dry before using oil paint on top.

SO! After prepping the canvas, I took the outline to it. Should be interesting how it all turns out but hope to keep posted!


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