Friday Portrait, October 24

Today’s sitter was Rose. I think she wasn’t quite up to the task of sitting still, which is understandable. I think I managed a decent portrait anyway.

Today, I began with a conflagration. This week I used cad yellow light, cad red medium (incidentally, both do contain cadmium, as do the watercolor varieties; when working with real paints, it’s very important to properly wash your hands and use either gloves or a barrier cream), and ultramarine, which does strange things for the camera.

I think I used more paint this week, as the cad red and the ultramarine are more transparent than the red and blue I used last week; they look too washy if you don’t use enough to begin with, but it means you also spend a lot more time pulling it back off the canvas.

One thing I realized today is that this process has as much in common with sculpting as with regular painting. You start with a big splash of color, and carefully take away everything that isn’t a face.

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Above is the final version, in class and with the phone cam. Below is the at home, natural light, normal cam version. Incidentally, that patch of blue under her throat is actually much darker, almost a purple, but as I said above, ultramarine plays tricks with cameras. It’s an interesting effect, though – a little too distracting onscreen, but it works in real life.

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3 Responses to Friday Portrait, October 24

  1. once again awesome
    american indian
    with a rosy soul

  2. walt says:

    Ha-ha, you used so much color in this one that after 40 minutes it’s still not entirely loaded! I could not have imagined from the first shot of your “background” that you could have it so effectively backdrop a portrait! But I think you got her just so, just about perfect. Even the green hair was effective. But to me, the hardest thing to paint so that it matched reality would be the little hat!

  3. julie says:

    The hat was tricky; I actually went in with a bit of white paint at the end to make it stand out a little more as “white.”

    Robin, I actually think it’s kind of funny that she came out looking like an American Indian – she told one of the other painters that she was German, maybe a little Italian. I would have guessed a mix like my own family, but what do I know?

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