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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cec's portrait continued- acrylic underpainting finished

 I'm now starting to finish the rest of the under painting his shirt and background. I wanted a light background as I think of  Cec and the Samaritan's as a beacon of hope for a lot of people.
I also wanted to to set the scene by including the Samaritan logo or a suggestion of it .

 Shirt roughly started , logo in place , background shade done..

  Now to start doing the Oil colour over the top. 
After spending so long getting his face pretty accurate I decided to have a play doing his shirt and the background first before ruining the lovely facial underpainting...lol's
 I want Cec's expression and character to be the most important thing in the portrait. 
I knew I wouldn't be able to play around much with his features so I had some fun suggesting his shirt! I didn't want it too tight with every detail spelled out, rather that people should get the general impression.

I had fun with his shirt! I'm very happy with it at the moment. 
I don't want to get bogged down in detail and end up with it being boring.

Now to see how the background colour I had planned looks. This will affect how I do his face colour so best to do it first.

 Argh! Now the scary part..It always looks worse before it comes good and I hated to wreck that underpainting.
 Oh well I plunged straight in - it can't get any worse now so stop worrying! 


Above- The ugly stage.. laying in some broad colours / tones as a base. I don't want his teeth to be the focus so I'll play them down later. I want your attention to go to his eyes and expression.

 At least all his face is now covered so I can compare tones and colours. I haven't got a likeness yet and there will be a lot of back and forth and fine tuning before I'm satisfied! I'm playing around with colours..

 All roughly covered now to continue with his face.
 I was hoping to use quite a few colours but 
The reference photo was taken in flat lighting with his face in the shade. That made it very difficult as I found if I  increased the contrast things just didn't look right! 
I had my life portraits next to the portrait as I had hoped to keep it more painterly like them. They all have spotlights on the model which gives you much more scope for impact and colour.
If I do an entry for next years exhibition I'll use more dramatic lighting. 
 Having said that a more conservative style used with this portrait  suited the calm kind feel I wanted to achieve.


Above - This is one of the stages where I decided to add some orange / green colours for some more zap in Cec's face. I found the colours just didn't sit right with the rest of the portrait and his complexion looked a bit green.
I chased my tail a lot with this portrait and ended up just staying with pink, red colours and upping the highlights as much as I could. 

 About this time I realised his chin needed to be moved over more to the right. Argh!
 Not a good time for major surgery..lol's 
 Here I've gone back to more pinkish colours and the portrait is holding together better.
I made a lot of changes but you probably can't see them in a photo. His head was too high so I chopped off a bit of height , made his neck thinner on the LHS, changed eye and nose shapes subtly and played with the highlights. Getting there..I also lightened his eye colour and added some extra zap.

Original reference photo

The completed portrait 
 50 x 60cms 
 Oil on gallery wrap Canvas 
 I feel I have captured the kind caring look I aimed for.

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