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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!