The above painting was completed in Danni’s portrait class over three periods. On Thursday I totally re-worked the face to get the color and facial structure more accurate. There was a point where I thought it was just not going to work out and that I should wipe it out, then all the sudden it came together. Funny how things work out…
A few weeks ago I wrote about this painting and how I am trying out a more developed painting method. It entails painting over an area more than once, working wet in wet with oil paint. In fact it really relies on the fact that there are layers of wet paint already on the canvas to build upon. It is also based on a lot of experimentation and the premise that you can always get yourself out of a painting mess. If you have made mud, scrape it down and start over.
I have also found that it requires understanding how sometimes when you mix warm and cool over each other, a middle "transition" color is required between the two colors to avoid the dreaded browning of the paint. This method does take longer than painting in a direct manner, and being that I work full time, I sometimes feel time constrained on how to accomplish my painting goals of completing a painting and starting another. Though after seeing the Jan Lievens exhibit yesterday, my goal is to be able to add this method to my repertoire of techniques.
So here are the final steps I took on this painting.
3rd Session, 3rd Step:
I continued to investigate laying in layers on both the light and shadow side. Working with refining the brush strokes and learning about painting on an area over and over again. Danni Dawson said that "to paint over and over an area has a very different look than just doing it once in a direct manner." I have to agree with her, this was my first painting where I worked and worked on this painting. Typically once I start to get dissatisfied with it I start over, I do not continue. With this painting I was trying to push myself and to see if it was possible to create a more refined painting.
3rd Session, Final Step:
This is how I finished the painting. Probably I could work more on the background and the pillow her head is resting on, however I think I will leave it as it is. As an example of my first painting that I tried to work in a manner that was not painted in a very direct manner in one session.
Girl in Fuchsia 16” x 20” Oil on Canvas
I tend to focus most of my painting time on landscapes and still life, as I find them to be a distinct and fun challenge; however I do spend some of my precious painting time working from models and improving my ability to capture the human form in a beautiful and convincing manner. I enjoy working from life and painting the model in front of me, I feel as the hours go by I learn to understand and know the person as an individual.
This painting was also technical breakthrough for me. My instructor had recently shared the insight of using the thickness of the paint applied to the toned canvas as a means of controlling the saturation and color of the paint when it is brushed onto the canvas. I like to apply the paint thickly, so learning to vary the paint application has given me a broader and more expressive painting technique.