Sunday, April 29, 2012

"solly by golly": another twenty minutes

t= +1:20
whoops! so much for going slowly enough not to make many mistakes. however, these are not errors of hasty brush work but errors in artistic judgement. since i don't use staining colors i think i can undo most if not all of these. i'll let you decide where they are and see if they are different on the next iteration.

Friday, April 27, 2012

life sessions: #2 and #3 of 2012 (2:12, 3:12)

20 minute pose
i'm not very happy with results from this week's work. some of the problem with the second session (2:12) was the paper which is a cheap bristol paper. did not handle the paint too well. the other was that i found my self overworking the pieces too much, especially the woman with the hat in the third session (3:12). be that as if may here are the results with warts and all...still a great learning experience.

35 minute pose
way too long a pose

"sollie, by golly," redux: the real deal

t=0 minutes
 (drawing and initial wash took about 15-20 minutes)
the sketch of solomon turned out so well that i approach the actual full size portrait with some trepidation. whether i can improve on the results from the sketch remain to be seen, but at the least it will be bigger. bigger is better....right? in this posting and the one's to follow until completion, i will put up photos of the painting as it progresses after about every 20 minutes of work. so, to explain, i will work for twenty minutes, take a rest, clean the palette, get fresh water, and photograph the progress since the last break. i will refrain from writing the dialog of the work as it will be more or less the same as the sketch with only minor differences, hopefully for the better. we'll see. before i start just a few preliminary comments: the paper is 140# cold press extra white fabriano artisitico, 16"X20", and i used the "blow up the reference photo to the size used in the painting" technique.

t  +20"
t +40"
t +60 minutes

close-up: t +60 minutes

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"sollie, by golly" finishing the portrait sketch

not really too much more to do here. i finished his hair all except for the top with flowing strokes of various colors using a #8 round brush and using my usual scraping technique for some of the strands after it had dried just a little bit. using a #10 round and ultramarine blue and brown madder i strengthened and added some shadows to the front of his hoodie.

lastly i finished the top of his head and hair in the same manner as the rest . i painted in some wisps of hair in front of his face to define the edge a little more and put in some crevice darks around the nose, nostrils, mouth, and eyes.

that's about it for this small sketch. i am really pretty happy, and not a little surprised, that it turned out as well as it did. now i wish i had thought out the colors a little better in the beginning. i really was just going for the correct values. at least this gives me the confidence to paint another a little bigger and better in the near future.

"sollie, by golly" 13"X10"

Friday, April 20, 2012

portrait with more dramatic lighting: sketch

i want to experiment with painting a portrait that has more dramatic or even atypical lighting. i have this photo of my grandson sollie snapped on christmas morning as we were opening presents. the light was really yellow due to the incandescent bulbs. so, i manipulated it on photoshop elements to give more lifelike flesh coloration and then reduced it to black and white (with enhancement of the contrast). that gave me the result shown here to work off of for the painting.

flesh tone enhanced
black and white (duh)

i started with a drawing on a piece of 140# hot press lanaquarelle paper measuring 11"X14". i thought that to get the whole thing to hang together i would have to lay down an initial wash over the face and the background so i chose quinacridone gold for the yellow, permanent rose for the red, and cerulean blue for the blue. the later may have been a mistake as it is rather opaque and may not glaze without causing some "mud".

initial "unifying" wash

from this point on i pretty much proceeded as i would on any other portrait using the same colors in different proportions. i painted the far eye and its surrounds first and then painted the large shadow that demarcated the light form the dark side of the face. i made this warmer near the light and with a relatively sharp edge and faded it into a cooler color as his head turned away from the light. i painted the mouth next being careful to get the light and shadow and therefore the shape correct. his mouth is definitely a little kid mouth and it would be very easy to make it "older" and thus make him seem older than his 4 years.

half done
i blocked in the front of his hair and scraped in some texture with the palette knife and painted some of the shadows on his hoodie with ultramarine blue and brown madder. the same colors were used for the background shape adjacent to his*left* arm/shoulder. quinacridone gold was used to paint the light value shape in front of his face. there are a few things that bother me at this point but it is just an experimental sketch so i won't fret over them now. plenty of time for that later!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a prayer for my people: this is it

"a prayer for my people" 16"X20"
the first thing that do in each painting session is to take stock of where i am with respect to values and , in the case of portraits and figures, anatomy. in this instance i noticed that the top and back of her head was too short (a bit of the same foreshortening problems i noticed with her chin and lower face at an earlier step.) this was really fairly easy to fix as i just lifted off an additional inch or so of background over the intended area of the hair/head with a damp 3/4" synthetic flat brush. i then painted in some strokes of cerulean blue, ivory black, and burnt sienna followed by some scraping out of some strands of hair with my thin palette knife. i changed the borders of the too-regular white shape in front of her face by adding some cerulean blue and brown madder almost dry brushed on and blended into the existing washes. i painted the rest of the t-shirt with both cerulean and turquoise blue and lost the lower most edge over her *right* shoulder by adding a dark background shape using burnt umber and brown madder. some shadowing around the neck of her t-shirt finished off this painting. its a little busier in the background than what i had originally planned but i am pleased with the result.

a prayer for my people: closing in on a finish

as i assessed the status of things this morning i knew that i couldn't put off the large wash on her near cheek/neck area any longer. i had been having trepidation about this ever since i decided to do a larger portrait. so i loaded up a #12 round sable brush a with a reddish mixture of my flesh colors (cadmium red light, yellow ochre, and cerulean blue) and put it down along the darkest areas under her zygoma and in front of her ear. from there i blended it into the already applied dry paint at her temple, side of nose, hair, and carried it down toward her jawline until i ran out of paint. its a little irregular but i think it will do. these larger washes always give me fits as i just don't have the technique to get them down smoothly. less tilt to the easel (i have it at 75-80 degrees right now) might help. also, i have noticed that yellow ochre misbehaves in mixes pretty frequently. it often kind of granulating on the paper in irregular, darker value splotches, some of which you can see near the temple area. all in all it came out okay...."better than i thought but worse than i hoped." aside for this i added some crescent darks along the wing of her nose where it meets her cheek, between the gap in her lips, nostrils, shadow where her t-shirt meets her neck under her chin, etc. i usually wait till last to do this so i have no logical explanation for why i did it now except that it felt like a good time????? lastly i will say that up until now i was going to leave the background almost devoid of paint, i.e. white paper, but i have been having second thoughts about this. to add a more spiritual note i have been thinking about adding some eagle feathers over on the left side of the painting. there is probably nothing more sacred to the lakhota than eagle feathers and given the title of the piece i thought that they would be apropos. one can see where i drew them in along the left side.

penultimate stages of "a prayer for my people"
the only way to really know if this is going to work is to just "bite the bullet" and do it knowing that disaster could quite easily ensue. i took the same large #12 round kolinski brush and put in a dark wash above her head/hair on the top right side of the painting using burnt umber and brown madder being careful to respect the border with her hair and maintain some "lost" feeling to that edge. i also scraped in some hair strands with the palette knife as the wash dried enough to start losing its sheen. i carried that thought over the rest of the top of paper adding some quinacridone gold and ultramarine blue in places. i wanted the feathers to be very loose and used splotches of pure color (cerulean blue, brown madder, burnt umber) in more or less feather shapes and lost more edges than i found in the area. now looking at the result i certainly don't think that it was disaster. whether it is better or just different than i had originally planned, i am unsure. all that is left is to adjust a few edges, interlock some shapes that are a little boring, like the almost rectangular white shape next to her far cheek, and finish what i am going to do on her t-shirt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

a prayer for my people: next stages

next washes on "a prayer for my people"
i started work today on the far eye using a #6 round brush that pointed well and my usual flesh colors with yellow ochre for the yellow to darken it a little. i first put in the shadow/edge of the upper lid and quickly added the upper part of the iris with burnt sienna. to gray it a bit, i then put in some spots of cerulean blue in the upper areas wet-in-wet. after rinsing and shaking the brush i drew that down to the bottom of the iris and out into the lower lid. all the while i was trying to avoid painting over the white highlights.  while this was drying i painted the medial socket/lid with cerulean blue and worked that out with some of the flesh colors to include the rest of the eye socket, upper and lower.  the brow was put in wet-in-wet with a touch of burnt umber. by this time the iris had dried sufficiently to paint in the darker pupil with ultramarine blue, again, wet-in-wet to get just a bit of blur. to finish this step i put in the far cheek from eye to jowl with the triple flesh combination. you will notice that i spattered some clear water next to eyebrow and cheek next to the mouth just to loosen things up as i felt that i was getting a little too rigid.
moving on:"a prayer for my people"

this next mini-step focused on the temple area and beginning of her t-shirt which defines the lower edge of her chin/jaw. the former was accomplished using a #10 round and applying a swatch of cerulean blue just lateral to the eye and working both up, down, and into the hairline with the flesh hues. the latter was a combination of turquoise blue and cerulean blue mixed on the paper.

final steps today

in looking at the progress to date. i noticed that the lower portion of her face from nose on down was too prominent. true there was some foreshortening as her head is tilted back, but still...... so i scrubbed out the t-shirt and wash in the mid line above the lips and moved everything north about a 1/2". i didn't really draw this in before hand with a pencil but ad libed it with the brush and paint. i am much happier with this configuration. after fixing this anatomical snafu, i turned to the forehead. the far area was painted first using the #10 round and some of the flesh colors adding more cerulean to cool down the area as i moved into the center and hairline. i didn't want much of a separation here so i painted the hair in with cerulean blue and burnt sienna. as i moved to her *left* i added more blue to the hair wash and warmed up the forehead wash by adding more red/yellow to the mix. i scratched in the hair with a palette knife. that's about all the time i have today so i am off to do errands and pick up my spouse from work. more tomorrow.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"a prayer for my people": next painting

drawing for "a prayer for her people"
i have seen some extreme close-ups of portraits that i have liked and i thought that i would try my hand at one for this next painting. luckily i have another photo of annabel where she is looking off into the distance that will work for this type of portrait. so, starting with a 16"X20" peice of 140# cold press fabriano artistico paper i drew her face and upper shoulders using a modified contour technique. a comment or two regarding this. i have found that on my photoshop elements i can bring an image up to occupy the whole screen (duh) and enlarge it (double duh). with this in mind i have been enlarging the images of at least the faces and heads lately to the size that i am going to use on the painting. this makes determining proportions and angles ever so much easier. siting on a pencil doesn't work well for me anymore with my need for reading glasses, and making on the fly calculations from ratios is just too taxing for my math challenged brain. this has taken a lot of the guess work out of the process. this is the drawing at the stage where i think i can start painting.

close-up of first washes
the color that i use for caucasian skin in shadow (cadmium red light, yellow ochre or raw sienna, and cerulean blue) seemed to work well for the last painting so i will use these same ones for this. i have never done a face this large before so i am going to proceed slowly. starting at the tip of the nose, where i always seem to start, i put down a wash on the underside and up around the wing of her nose using a #10 round brush. after rinsing and giving it a good shake i used this clean damp brush to manipulate the paint upwards over the tip and around the wing and further up toward the bridge of the nose. i had to be careful to preserve the highlighted areas. i released this wash into the upper lip with some pretty much pure cerulean blue and stopped just above the upper lip. turning to the near eye and switching to a #8 round, i painted the shadow under the upper lid leaving some skips and breaks (sort of a morse code) using a darker, grayer version of the flesh mix. the iris was painted over the upper half with burnt sienna and then extended down to the lower lid with a clean damp brush. this was released into the lower lid. i put a few dabs of cerulean over the upper iris for variety. while this was drying i painted the inner socket with cerulean and released it onto the side of the nose and up over the top of the socket/brow with the flesh color. by this time the iris had dried sufficiently to give me some control so i put in the pupil using ultramarine blue wet-in-wet. all of this was done carefully preserving the whites for the highlights and sclerae. lastly at this time, i painted the brow in wet-in-wet using burnt umber and cerulean blue. so far so good!

annabel of the lakhota: finishing up

"annabel" 16"X20"
i really haven't taken any intermediary shots between the last post and this (probably) finished effort.i finished the face off in much the same manner as the initial stages and using the same colors. in fact, i used the same colors for all of this painting once i added the ultramarine blue to the shadow under her arm and hands. in retrospect and all too often, i was too loose and unthinking when i painted the background. i think the color is harmonious with the rest of the painting and the style is loose as is the figure, but it's a little too haphazard.....i'm not sure that adequately explains my feelings about it but its the best i could come up with at this time. the shirt is also too isolated. i should have included an escape route or two. there are a couple of small areas of darker to darker transition over her *left* shoulder, but it needs more, in my opinion.....perhaps a white (or light) to white area. i may be able to lift something off somewhere around her *right* shoulder or back area. the likeness is actually quite good and i am pleased with that. i also like the expression on her face. i wonder if putting a darker shirt on her might improve things. perhaps the next time i do this, assuming there is a next time. any more monkeying around with this would surely ruin it. time to move on.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

next project: "annabel of the lakota"

drawing for "annabel....."
annabel is a lovely woman who always visits us when we go to porcupine, sd, on the pine ridge reservation of the oglala sioux tribe. she makes us fry bread, is a chauffeur for many of her family and friends should they need transportation, and fills our idle hours with fascinating stories of her people. she was gracious enough to allow me to photograph her as she talked with us one afternoon and from these shots i have chosen this pose for my next painting.

using a 16"X20" sheet of 140#, cold press fabriano artistico paper i drew in the likeness of annabel using a modified contour technique. this will be difficult for me as i am very fond of her and i am already nervous that the likeness not be as it should. i won't let this dissuade me however and continued on to her upper body which included her very expressive hands. if i can carry this off it will be a nice painting.

first washes on "annabel...."
to start the painting i decided to use the flesh color i usually use in the shadow of caucasian skin which is cadmium red light, yellow ochre (or raw sienna/umber), and cerulean blue. using a midvalue of this i painted the underside of the nose with a #6 round that pointed very well. having done that i rinsed and gave it a good shake and used this damp clean brush to draw out the paint up and over the top of the nose and around the alae. i released the inferior aspect of this wash into the upper lip with some pale cerulean blue. next i moved onto the *left* eye (*..* means relative to the figure not the witness). using the same brush and a darker version of the same colors i painted the shadow under the upper lid. changing to burnt umber i painted in the upper portion of the iris being careful to leave the speck of white for the highlight. after a clean and shake i drew the pigment down to th inferior of the iris and out onto the lower lid. a splotch of pure cerulean blue made the inner aspect of the socket recede properly and then i tied it in with the rest of the lateral and inferior socket with the flesh color. by this time the iris had dried sufficiently to give me a little blurring of the pupil but still with some control. this was painted using ultramarine blue again avoiding the highlight. i then painted the lateral extent of the socket and carried it up and over the eye brow and put some burnt umber in wet-in-wet for the brow. i wanted to lose the edge of the face opposite the eye so i put in some of the hair and background shapes and scratched in a few wisps of hair as it dried. she has prominent cheeks and i painted them using a #8 round brush and a redder version of the flesh color starting at the dimple near the corner of her mouth and painting upward to meet the painting around her eye leaving a highlight over the most prominent area of the cheek that catches the light. i started to model the *left* side of the forehead and lost that edge into the hair. some spattering and manipulation of cerulean blue and carmine defined the lateral edges of her cheek and top of the shoulder of her tee-shirt. that's all for today. i can see that the iris in her *right* eye is not looking to the *left* enough and i will have to correct this in the painting or she will look like she has a "lazy" use the technical term.

airborne lunch attack: next and final steps

"the great airborne lunch attack" 20"X16"
to begin the painting session today i decided to go dark on the legs of the bench near the top and make them a positive shape and lose the pigment as i worked down and describe them using background negative shapes. all this was done using a #10 round brush. colors were various combinations of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, ivory black, mineral violet, brown madder, hooker's green, and ???. they were mixed for the most part on the paper and as long as they were "almost" complements they produced an interesting dark gray, which is what i wanted. i used the same colors for the "grass" negative shape on the bottom. changing to a #8 round i moved onto his shoe with various values of gray and put in the the shadow and cast shadow of the jeans' cuff. the sole is almost pure ivory black. as dark moves forward i tried to render the front of the sole and toe of the shoe a darker value. i added the warmer wash to the park bench using yellow ocher and brown madder and then put in the "gaps" in a dark value, pure ultramarine blue wet-in-wet. this was repeated for each of the slats of the bench. the top of the bench on the left of the picture was defined by the background negative shape much like it was at the right using ultramarine blue and brown madder with some splatters of cerulean blue for texture, etc.. a similar wash was painted in the upper left to join that shape with the border of the painting.

now that i look at this i think i lost too much of his hoodie over his *left* back so i will probably reinstate this with some dark value paint. with the exception of that i will declare this finished.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

airborne lunch attack: 2.2

i don't have time to write much about technique and steps right now but i will come back and go over them shortly. in the mean time i thought that i would post just the photo of the painting at the time that i stopped painting today. so far this has been great fun and i hope you have enjoyed watching along as much as i have enjoyed painting it.

much later than expected: the first thing that i painted today was the pigeon. the light gray was made using cerulean blue, carmine and yellow ochre; the darker gray a combination of ultramarine blue and burst sienna. using a #8 round brush i started at the end of the near wing and painted the individual feathers which are quite distinct on the reference photo. as i moved back from the tips toward the body there was a natural lightening of the value as i ran out of paint. near the end i washed the brush and drew the remaining pigment out with clear water giving a nice feathering (no pun intended) of the stroke. this same notion was reduplicated on the nearer patch of feathers closer to the shoulder of the bird leaving a white patch over the near shoulder. same deal with the tail. the body was pretty simply painted with the light gray mixture and some of the darker paint was applied to the inferior part of the beak leaving a light highlight on the top. i couldn't come up with any better way to depict the moving wing so i just left it a blur with lost edges everywhere except at the point nearest the body. i thought that i needed some more of the yellow coloring in the painting so that the hat wouldn't seem so lonely so i put some of the yellow ochre on the park bench at the far right just to see if i thought that would work. i think that it will. additionally i wasn't wild about the entirely bare area under the bench so i drew in the rather complicated leg structure. now i just have to decide how to paint this so that it isn't "too much." i believe that is all for this section so on to the next stage and post.

Monday, April 9, 2012

airborne lunch attack: 2.0

washes 2.01
this next section was approached in two sections. the first was defining the facial structures a bit which was tricky because they are for the most part in shadow and over definition would be a mistake, but i wanted just a little more than at the previous step. and second the start of his clothing. so, using a #2 and #4 round brush i added a few lines to the eyes and carefully put in some pupils, all this with permutations and combinations of my usual flesh colors. where it looked like i was getting too hard an edge i softened immediately with either a damp clean brush or blotted with a tissue. i also added some flesh color to the hands and brought the beard into some more focus. while the hands were drying i added a small cast shadow on the coffee cup wet-in-wet using cobalt blue which when the flesh colors bled into it gave a nice warm simple...almost looks like i knew what i was doing! the bottom of the cup was explained with a dark splotch of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna allowed to release over much of the hoodie and leg out toward the forward elbow and into the background on the right side of the figure (his *left*). i let this dry and came back later in the day for the rest of this step(s).
washes 2.02

with the previous step dry, i approached the large hoodie shape. using a #10 round (which is used for the remainder of this step) i applied ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, ivory black, and mineral violet in the darkest areas of the hoodie, almost as swatches of color, and allowed them to mingle wet-in-wet on the paper. just as they were starting to dry i softened the hard edges with a cleaned, damp brush to bring them closer together and give a wrinkled effect. i released the *left* back behind his arm into the crack between the boards on the bench using mainly clear water and drew it all the way to the edge of the paper. the jeans were approached in the same manner in terms of brush work but with the colors changing to ultramarine blue and mineral violet. i want to give the far wing of the pigeon a feeling of motion so i am leaving the edges very blurred in the area. i still am not entirely sure how am going to effect this subtlety but at least i haven't made any hard edges to make the work more difficult in the future when i do decide. i thought that the far right side of the bench needed some definition so i added a medium sized and valued shape in the background just above it near the edge of the painting and left it loose. this was a reiteration of the ultramarine blue and brown madder evidenced at the top of the painting above his hat. some spattering is also in evidence here both with paint and clear water. i left the drips and runs develop to give it texture and interest. that's all for now. more on the morrow.

Friday, April 6, 2012

the great airbourne lunch attack: next project

drawing and initial washes
since the show i have in about 8 months is going to be portraits and figures (and figures in landscape) i want to have enough to choose from to ensure the best quality work i can produce. in pursuit of this i decided to do a figure painting of a guy on his lunch break in a square in downtown seattle that i took last june. i was about 200-300 feet from the action and just took random shots of people around the square. when i looked at the long shot of the figure i was surprised to see there was a surprise sortie occurring at the hands (wings?) of a hungry pigeon. this was entirely serendipitous. after some manipulation i came up with a cropped version that i will use as an inspiration for the painting. here is the drawing with a bit of wash applied (i can't seem to stop myself from putting in a splash of color at the earliest time in these!)

close-up of face and surrounding area

the paper is a sheet of 20"X16" fabriano artistico hot press 140# watercolor paper. i must say that the smooth texture on this paper makes drawing easier, at least it seems so to me, as the tooth on the rougher papers drags a bit on the pencil. i started the painting using a #8 round and some ultramarine blue and brown madder in the background and treated that and the shadow along the left (his *right*) of his hat and under the bill on his face down to his chin/beard as one shape. this highlighted his nose, *left* ear, and the *left* side of his beard. the color for the hat was yellow ochre and the colors for the flesh in shadow were the same plus cerulean blue and cadmium red light. as i had a puddle flesh color sitting on the palette i put a tint on his hands and blended that into the jeans on his knee. the reference photo actually shows this as almost white but i didn't want to take anything away from his startled face and the pigeon so i painted a bit of local color with cerulean blue right out of the tube after some dilution. i painted a light pink on his nails that will be surrounded by the regular flesh color after it dries. i started experimenting with the colors for his hoodie and put in some ultramarine blue and burnt sienna on the arm and cuff near his hands. it looks like a decent start and i look forward to painting more on this tomorrow.

life drawing/painting studio: first of 2012

45-minute pose
i got back to the vitamin studio for the first time in this year and since returning to the north land. we were blessed by an extremely good model who while new to the game performed like a seasoned veteran. it was a 3-hour session as each first of the month session is and so there were 4 poses in all after a few warm up poses of 1-3 minutes. they are of varying quality but all in all i am pleased with work given the long hiatus since i last tried this type of exercise. i especially like the last 45-minute pose. here are the offerings for this week:

now that i evaluate them back in the studio, i am struck by the composition of the pieces. i didn't consciously try to arrange things but only attempted to get a decent representation of the figure. however, the composition on these is much better than anything that i have done before in this setting.

30-minute pose

25-minute pose

40-minute pose

tweeking the "chiricahua scout"

"chiricahua scout" 16"X20"
after sleeping on this painting for a night and reevaluating in the morning i decided that a few changes might be for the better. i smoothed out the transitions of the background a bit by lifting, blending and painting in a bit of texture here and there. i changed the shape of the butte on the far right by lifting with a 3/4" flat synthetic brush and blotting.  i applied a darker shade of grass in the lower right and scratched in some texture with the palette knife. lastly, i painted in a darker line of trees, etc. just at the base of the far distant hills using a dark value of something (i can't remember at this point.) that's about it for this painting. on to the next project.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

back in the saddle....again

a horse with no face....hmmm
we arrived home in one piece after a nice trip across country. things have been set up in the studio and i have done some more painting on the most recent effort, "chiricahua scout." to start things out i decided to add a butte in the distance. i probably should have looked at my numerous photos of same as the shape isn't quite right but i will leave it alone for now. this was done using the burnt sienna and cobalt blue and applied with a #10 round kolinski brush. secondly i put in an irregular graded wash (both color and value) that got more warm and dark as it moved forward in space to lend an air of distance. i think i did this with cerulean in the back working through quinacridone gold, yellow ocher, burnt sienna and burnt umber in the nearest areas. i switched to a #10 squirrel hair mop for this mainly because of the amount of water it will hold.  turning to the horse, i added a little more modelling and darkened the legs especially on the rear ones. for this i used cerulean blue, carmine, and yellow ochre for the modelling and burnt sienna and ultramarine blue for the legs applying all with a #8 round. lastly at this stage of painting i decided to put in a partly cloudy, cumulus-laden sky by using the large squirrel mop and pretty much pure cerulean blue. i started with the negative painting done at the very beginning around the hat to make sure i blended in alright and then expanded to the rest of the sky leaving the whites alone. i lost some edges by spritzing some dots of water along the bottom edges and blotting here and there with a tissue. the shading was done with cobalt blue and burnt sienna, softening the edges the same way. having done that to my satisfaction i decided that there was something wrong anatomically with the head and lifted it out with a stiff synthetic flat and blotting followed with a mr. clean eraser. when that had dried enough i redrew the head which ended with it slightly smaller and the snout at a little different angle to the forehead. hopefully that will look better. we'll see.

headless no more
the next day i made some changes to the background trying to put in some texture with maintaining the sense of distance by scumbling and scraping in an over wash of the same colors used before in the far and mid distance. i will let that dry before doing more in this fashion as i am not too sure that this was a good idea at this juncture. i moved onto the horse's head and repainted it by modelling with the cerulean/carmine/yellow ochre wash and the #8 round. the horse has a few spots, more on his head and snout, that i am not really sure of the color as it is a b+w photo. so, i made up a burnt sienna and brown madder mix to contrast some with the bluish- gray modelling. this head is better and i am pleased with the changes. i think i am nearing completion at this point but i still have to make a decision about the, i now believe, ill advised monkeying with the prairie part of the painting. i decide to let things rest overnight and reassess in the morning. that's all for now. be well.