Sunday, March 10, 2013

Marilyn and Java

I don't take many commissions as I have a hard time as it is keeping up with the galleries and art shows, but I do sneak one in every now and then. This is a portrait of Marilyn and her horse Java.
My past students in classes I have done have asked me to do a step by step so they can follow along, and I am pleased to do it. My process is soooo slow, that showing them this technique is impossible to do in my workshops, so this is the best I can do for them.
1> Reference is key. Marilyn had a professional photographer take the picture and together we chose which one we would use. The reference is wonderful and is going to make the process a lot easier.

2> Laying in the drawing. I do several sketches on paper then move that to the board. Here I am using an ampersand gesso board with just enough tooth to grab the color off the brush.

3> Then glaze glaze glaze. I lay in layer after layer of Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Van Dyke Brown, Ult Blue. I push the highlights and the darks as I go, pulling them out with drybrush techniques. Each layer has to dry before I start the next or the medium will pull up the color.
 This is the initial glazing stage, I block in the local color and lock in my pencil drawing. As I move from place  to place on the painting, I will correct and work on my initial drawing. This keeps my mind active and I don't get complacent that the drawing is "done".
Laying in the base of the saddle. Important here to remember, the face and horse are the focus of the painting, Don't get too lost in detail or you will not give your eye a place rest and it will pull away from the original intent of the painting. (I am one to talk, I am the worst at stopping when I start detail)

Don't rush this stage, it is the foundation of your painting. Once you lay it in, it is a breeze from there.

If you have any questions, please email me directly, I don't always check the comment section of my blog and could miss your question. You should have it from class.

Next guessed it...glazing. :0

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