Thursday, January 05, 2017

Portrait of Us (Painting as of Jan. 5, 2017)

This is a painting that I am just getting underway.  This is going to be a portrait of two people, in acrylics on canvas ( I 14 x 18 inches). I am working from a photo of this couple, riding a motorbike in Greece (wearing helmets and sunglasses).  Back in December, I worked on a pencil sketch as preparation, to learn the faces.  (The pencil sketch is posted here, December 14, 2016.)  Yesterday I jump-started the painted portrait by tracing the main lines of the pencil sketch onto the canvas. (I used graphite paper and put tape over the pencil tip so I wouldn't make in marks on the sketch.) This gave me just some very light marks on the canvas, pretty hard to see, but I could make out the position of the figures, the helmets, and the main facial features. So then I used pencil right on the canvas to make those marks easier to see.  Then I switched to paint, some neutral beige (brown and white) and started painting, starting by making the marks and lines on the canvas easier to see.  That was as far as I got yesterday.  This afternoon, I didn't have a lot of time, but I worked on this anyway. I already could see things I needed to fix.  (Portrait painting is all about making many mistakes and then correcting them.) So I mixed up some more neutral paint (brown, beige, and white) and made some of the changes.  Then I used the paint to indicate light and dark areas. I worked mostly from the original photo, but sometimes looking at the sketch too I only worked for about 40 minutes, but now I feel that I have made a start.

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