Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Portrait of a Fellow Artist

Deep in Thought
Oil on Canvas, 12 x 12

I've been painting figures and faces lately with nothing finished to show you, until now. This is a big day for me: my first painted portrait that is good enough to post. I feel great about having achieved a likeness.

I painted this in the studio of artist and teacher, Jay Senetchko who gave me direction along the way to keep me on-track. The model was fellow artist, Chad Krowchuk who sat calmly while seven or eight of us strived to capture him on canvas.

Lessons I learned from Jay this time round:

  • If the model's eyes are cast off in one direction like Chad's are here, leave more space on the canvas in the direction he is looking.
  • Simplify. Once the initial drawing is complete, block in the shapes of the face and hands in only two skin tones, then go back in with more tones to give more definition.
  • A bit of colour placed in close proximity will activate other bits of the same colour nearby. For example, the blueish tinge in the shadow on Chad's hand, nearest his face - that blueish tinge draws out the blue in his eye. (I've known to apply principle when buying accessories to decorate a room, but never thought to transfer the knowledge to painting.)
I tried the technique of glazing. After the initial three hour session with the model, I let the painting dry completely, then I painted a very thin coat of reddish-orange over the entire canvas. During the second session, I worked back into the cooler colours, blues, grays, and greens.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful accomplishment Shelley!
    I'm taking a 3 day workshop in May for portraits and am really scared about it all. Not scared of failing so much, but rather that I won't achieve the smashing success that you have here with this one.