Although it is ingrained into our impulses to always begin a painting by sketching in lines that represent the shape and volume of our subject it really isn't necessary.
I am beginning a painting of Jonas by covering the whole canvas with a nice warm neutral. I have made a few initial marks (are these lines?) to locate my subject.
OK, here I've started pushing paint into the areas I want to get the basic pattern started. It is a bit like carving the subject out of a field of paint. There is no imperative for accuracy at this point.
Now I am working in relief, using a small rag that's been dipped in mineral spirits to wipe out areas that need lightening up. Jonas is starting to emerge from the ground. So far I've used a #10 flat brush and a small rag to reach this point.
I've introduced ultramarine blue to get some darker values now. A bit of brushwork and this is starting to look like something. This could stand out as a great little study. I quite like paintings at this stage. The trick now is to retain the freshness while adding more elements to make a more interesting picture.
A little work on his features, a little peachy warm colour in the lit skin areas and some high values on his shirt.
More detail work. A little reflected blues in his hair. More attention to the folds in the shirt.
I've scrumbled some viridian over the background. This allows some ambiguous earth reds to show through and helps the background to receed. I like using green with children because it is a colour that symbolizes new life and growth.
Time to finish this off. I put down some appropriate colours in the shirt, green stripes and subtle violet in the white areas that are out of direct sunlight. I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. Please put any suggestions in my comments if there is an aspect of my painting process that you'd be interested in learning more about. Until next time.
Come on out to visit local artists in their studios this weekend. They will be happy to share their process and inspiration with you as you view their new work. Go to www.studiotour.wordpress.com for details. I'll have some of my portraits on hand as well as Okanagan landscapes. Hope to see you.
I am taking part in an open studio tour on the 19 and 20th of May. That is giving me the motivation to refresh my studio space, so I have decided that new paint is in order. Presently my studio/gallery is painted a great green that does compliment most artwork very well, but is a bit dark when working on portraits inside. I think I will go with a more traditional gallery white so I can control my lighting more effectively. You are invited to come out, see some new paintings, and inspect my renovation. I will get the tour info up on my exhibits page. See http://studiotour.wordpress.com/
I am soldiering on with my portraits, so I'll share a few recent ones with you. . .