Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Portrait WIP - Staged Approach Demonstration

This week's project for me is another bash at portraiture. The subject is a life long friend of mine, Jed Grimes. Jed is a musician and artist with whom I share the odd day's painting as well as our regular social get togethers. I have a number of photographs of him as well as drawings that have been done in our art sessions. The picture I chose to base the portrait on is one that appears on the cover of his latest album, so if you're interested in the source material have a look at iTunes, type in Jed Grimes and look at Heart and Hand. You might take the opportunity to sample his music or even decide to purchase the EP. Well that's the advert, so on to the portrait.

The following pictures give an idea of the process I go through in making an oil portrait.
The first stage is to sketch an outline of the main elements. This was done in this case with Indanthrone Blue diluted with some odourless spirits. At this stage I'm not aiming for the accuracy that I would want in a drawing for watercolour, just a crude starting map.

Jed - Stage 1 the initial drawing.

Once the initial drawing is done I use a weak wash of burnt siena to begin placing some of the darker shapes and finding an outline.

Jed - Stage 2 placing the darks

Once this is done I begin assessing the accuracy of the elements. In this case I decided that the eyes were a little far apart and the chin a little long. A rub of the rag and an adjustment got the yes a little closer and a resolve to shorten the chin at the next stage was planned.

Jed - Stage 3 slight adjustment to eyes.

The next stage is where the first application of colours takes place. It is after this stage that the close study of progress is made with a view to deciding on the refinements that will be necessary as a move towards applying smaller more precise strokes in the next pass at the picture. This is a good stage to sleep on progress so far. With this one I've already spotted a number of things that will ned to be addressed when I get out the brushes in the morning.

Jed - Stage 4 first colour application

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