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Monday, December 15, 2014

The creation of Francis - a 2.30hr practise portrait from a model

It's always a race against time to create a portrait in such a short time. I spend a lot of time getting an accurate likeness in my blue acrylic under painting so I end up with only a very short time to put the Oil colour over the top and bring it all together.
 Francis is a great model and always gives us an interesting pose. I was disappointed to run out of time with this one as I felt given more time I could have created a good portrait.
Below is what I got done in the session.I'm happy with the general expression- I feel I have captured something of her nature. With more time I would have integrated her forehead and front of her cheeks with the rest of the portrait and done more with her hair and left eye.


Below- I start by just drawing the shape of her head to place it on the canvas. I use scraps of canvas and I was mad at myself as today I had only brought a skinny bit and when I saw the great model I wished I had a wider one! The yellow bits are just the tape holding the canvas onto the board. The tape comes off when it's finished.
  I just position her eyes nose and mouth making sure they are at the right angle for the pose and the distances are pretty right. Every person varies and even the angle of the head on the day affects where everything goes.


Above -  In this one I've darkened behinds her head to make it stand out drawn her clothes and started to block in her neck with tones ( shades of light and dark). This is what makes them look real and 3D.

Above-  A bit further along and it is starting to look like Francis!
 I'm starting to capture something of her expression.

 Coming along nicely.. I always hate continuing on from this stage. 
Often I have a good likeness and everything looks great and then I know it is going to start looking horrible for a while until right at the end.

Above-  Here I'm starting to put the Oil colour over. The usual method is to do all the darker colours / tones first, then the middle tones, the lightest and the details. 
Because I always run out of time I have come up with another way of working. It is harder to do as you have to be able to visualise a few stages ahead. Here I start on her mouth , nose base and eye doing dark accents.
Usually you would do all her skin colour first and do those last..This way I get to see if I am getting the expression earlier and it keep me motivated.

Above- Now I've started doing the highlights ( where the light catches on her face). I will fill in the darker skin tones later. This is a good way to go if the model starts to get tired and sag.The rims of light etc can then disappear/ change position  due to the different angle of her head so this way I have a record of them at their best!

Above - I'm starting to fill out her cheek- there was some great lighting that I wanted to catch. 

Below- Doing some darker bits of her hair- the lighter bits will now show better over them. 
I'm also starting to fill in the middletone colours in her face.

Below- This is as far as I got in the session. It's so frustrating when you're on a roll, things are going great , your all fired up, and then they say - "Ok that's it!' grr

Compare the colour between this one ( above ) and the one below.. Nothing has been changed except the lighting.. The top one is how she looked during the painting session- I was using the yellows etc..
When I got home the light was different and the yellow no longer showed. It's very frustrating! You get it how you want at portraits and then when you get them home they don't look as planned.. Oh well I suppose I don't mind either. 
This is one portrait that I may one day come back and finish. I have photos of her from the sitting.

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