Thursday, August 7, 2014

"table for one, non-smoking, please": new painting

drawing, reference, and initial washes
when i saw this photo taken and sent to me from my almost lifelong friend dan darigan i know that i would have to paint this lovely inquiring african girl from the village of njala in sierra leone. the only questions were,"when?" and, "how?".  in the past the few portrait type paintings that i have done of folks that had darker than caucasian skin were usually done using the same colors only a bit lower value as i used for caucasian skin and made the anatomical differences speak to the ethnicity. in this one i not only wanted to capture her look, but also her unique features and her deeper colored skin tones. so here is the start.

detail from above photo of first wash
apparently she used to come into dan's abode frequently to watch him making dinner and this is one of those times he caught a photo of her. i will have to find out her name and possibly change the working title.

i decided to place her almost in the center of the long horizontal format...she is actually a bit more to the picture's right meaning the negative space is smaller on the right side of the figure. this just gives me a challenge for which to find a solution.

these colors are french ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, mineral violet, quinacridone gold, and alizarin crimson permanent. everything painted with a #14 escoda versatil round brush.

darker but cooler washes
i thought the *right* side of her face was getting a little cool and the *left needed a bit of pigment so i warmed things up with light glazes of vermillion and burnt sienna. the table top was the same colors but streaked in wet-in-wet to simulate wood grain.

adding a bit of warmth
the last close-up is where i left off work for yesterday. i put in a graded wash of manganese blue nova, mineral violet, and mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna in sort of horizontal stripes as i sort of thought that i needed more horizontals with the strong vertical of the figure. this is the first thing i am starting to question. it is looking too boring and predictable to me. i may have to use this as a first wash and darken while adding some structure to it later. i also started working on her hands by adding some small washes of burnt sienna and alizarin crimson to the areas in shadow while staying away from the lighter nails.

so the final photo is the painting as it was at the end of painting yesterday. needed to get some golf in with joan as the day was just too nice not to partake. worked out well as it was the first sub-80 round (78 actually) since i "burned out" my hip last february.

"table for one, non-smoking, please" interval step