Saturday, August 06, 2011

Eveline - complete

8 x 10  
oils on canvas panel

Update:  I've added this better image now that some of the shine from the oil has diminished.  This is truer to colour and value of the original, though still a little light.

I've finished the final glazing and touches on this piece and am calling it done.  Well I may still tweak that left hand curler a little more, but aside from that I'm not touching it.  Because there is fresh oil on it, its difficult to get a decent photo, but this may be close enough for now.  Its a little darker and browner in real life.

Although a grisaille is usually the underpainting for a colour piece, I'm leaving this one alone as I like the sepia-like colour.  I used burnt umber for the base with some titanium white then glazed with Transparent Oxide Brown which I adore.  It adds such warmth to a piece.

I used poppyseed oil and a little turps for the final glaze then softened the strokes with a broad fan brush.  It needs to dry and sit for a few days, meanwhile onto a new piece.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Grisaille portrait update

I haven't had a lot of time this week to do much painting.  House guests and still not feeling 100% with this cold, limits what I can achieve.  However, I do a few minutes here and there and it builds over time.

I'm adjusting shapes as I go, especially the hair, trying to get the curlers in the right place then block in the values.  The face is more or less as I want it, with more shading to be glazed to intensify the shadows.  I did wipe and redo the eyes several times before I was satisfied with them.  Most likely because I didn't do a drawing on the canvas first, instead went straight in with a brush and drew loosely from there.  I need to follow my own advice.  It saves time.

There's something about monotone images that brings me back in time.  The sepia tones are the trigger and the sense of painting as it was done hundreds of years ago.  Traditions are steeped in time and never lost.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grisaille painting

8 x 10  oils

Grisaille painting isn't seen often these days.  It was a classic technique favoured by the masters and students to produce a monochrome version of a painting before colour was added through glazing.  It was very similar to a drawing, or a sculpture, but done in paints.

With the advent of 'alla prima' painting, grisaille has dropped from favour.  Adding another step to a painting seems wasteful of time if you're creating a painting all in one sitting.

I have to admit that I haven't used grisaille for a very long time either and my prompt to try it again is this portrait.  It is being done from a greyscale image, as there was no other available from the individual.  So the time seemed right to work up a grisaille image then see if I wanted to move it further with colour glazing, or simply leave it as a monochrome piece.

This is about the half way mark.  I've got the shapes and values it, now to deepen the values and tweak the shapes.  I'm using oils here, burnt umber and titanium white and need to let the layers dry a little before refining it more.