Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Portrait 3

Today's changes to the portrait. Another day of learning. The main points for me are finding ways to improve my mixing and also my measurement. Whilst I've made a number of adjustments to both during this process, I've not yet got them to the point where I'm totally happy but I feel that this exercise has got me a little closer.

I'm about to put this one aside for a while as it has always been a study for a more formal portrait. The next step for me is to spend a little time experimenting with colour mixes to improve my choices when representing skin. 

On reflection I feel that this isn't too bad as a portrait even though it doesn't have that magical quality of a true likeness to the subject. However it is close enough to suggest that I'm making a little progress.

Portrait 3 - Oil on linen

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Portrait 2

I only managed a short spell in front of the canvas today but managed to begin the work of improving accuracy placing some extra shapes. I've also played with some different colours as well as those used yesterday. For a yellow I've introduced Gold Ochre and for a blue, Cerulean. Along with the pigments used previously it has become easier to produce an interesting range of greys.

As with yesterday I can spot a number of things requiring a little adjustment before the next work on refining the image.

Portrait Day 2 - Oil on linen

Monday, 25 November 2013

Portrait Time

I've eventually got round to beginning the first of a bunch of portraits that I want to work on. The last few weeks have been a time for sketching and planning and thinking about where I want to arrive at.
The next stage in this journey is to experiment with technique, colour mixes and types of support.

For the first study I've chosen to work on linen, largely because I don't need to produce a coloured ground and I've already got a mid tone to work against.

The first stage for me is an outline in graphite. After that the application of some paint to get a feeling for the shape of the face and provide a base for thinking about drawing accuracy and placement of colours. The initial strokes are made with burnt sienna and some medium then some skin tones made with cadmium red light, cadmium yellow, titanium white and medium.. All of the paint was put on thinly to assist in drying.

My first impressions have given me a list of adjustments that I need to make to improve my accuracy but I now have something to work on as I develop my palette and start to refine the shapes that I've initiated. Hopefully, I'll have time tomorrow to get back to the job.

Portrait beginning - Oil on linen 14" x 12"

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A New Challenge

Recent frustrations with image making had me thinking hard about getting some sort of focus to my activity. The latest thinking for me is to spend some time making portraits with a view to producing a large scale piece early in the New Year. So in one sense it's back to basics, drawing on a daily basis and honing the observational skills necessary to make convincing portraits. It's some time since I submitted myself to that degree of discipline  so I'm hoping that the process gives me a boost in technique.

The sketch below is one of today's efforts with evidence of much adjustment and erasing as I have attempted to get somewhere near to getting the rudiments recorded. As yet it doesn't represent a convincing capture of the subject but this whole project is very much a work in progress.

I hope that regular readers have patience with my fragmentary work on these lines and I'd welcome any advice from the more regular portraitists out there.

Drawing - graphite 6" x 4"