Wednesday, September 13, 2006

painting portraits -part 3

I jumped to the base colors. Unfortunately it was late at night when I was doing this so the camera is picking up the light wrong. You can't see it well, but I threw a bunch of background color into the skin halftone and shadow areas. That helps keep the objects in a painting in the same atmosphere.
Next morning, I didn't like his hand in the composition above. So a painless operation and I cut it off. Reconnected as the green blob on her arm. (I just wanted to see a value blob to check the composition) I like the placement better. It brings them together a little more and adds some movement to the composition.
Here's the beginning stage of adding color. Her flesh tones(pale warm pinks) contrast with his dark warm olive skintones. One challenge will be not washing out the color in her face. My daughter has beautiful expressive eyes. To me they will be one key to nailing this painting.
True Confessions of an artist:
This is the point in the painting process that I start to get really nervous and doubt replaces confidence. I'll start procrastinating,(you can see it already) then I jump out of the procedure and into doodle around with the brush time. The paint strokes start to get weak and the paint thins out. I know the remedy must be go forth bravely into the fire, but to confess, I'm chicken hearted and don't want to ruin the painting. This is a death sentence to any beginner (like me). First, you can't ruin oil paint - it drys and you can do it again, or wipe it off and do it again. (brain to heart: doing it again is not a failure!)Second, if you do not approach the brush work with confidence that weakness will showup in the final picture.
Ok my lecture to myself is over, I'll get right back to it......just as soon as I complete a daily practice piece then go outside to sketch and....


Louis Boileau said...

Hi Peter,
John Singer Sargent while working on one portrait, scrubbed the face out and started over eight times.

Not to put myself in his company,but, I've done it dozens of times.'s always worth it...scary as it may be.

Anonymous said...

Whoa Peter..really coming along.
I loved the value study..I didn't think I'd like the color version but you surprised me :)

J Matt Miller said...

To use another Sargent reference, I learned from his portraits to taper the fingers of women's hands. Makes them look decorative and elegant. Just a thought. Great work!

Luis Colan said...

I think you're off to a great start. I think you're very brave to paint a dual portrait. I would love to do portraits but get chickened out thinking that I will fail, and I don't like that felling. I started a portrait of my mother last night and I'm hoping to do her justice. Portraiture could be so intimidating. Good luck!