Monday, February 11, 2013

Painting Faces

Straight Talker
10x8 Oil on Panel
This is another portrait painted from life and my eighth attempt since October (not counting the one that didn’t make the cut). The studio light was positioned near the upper right corner of the model’s face. Light from the windows was softened by sheer white drapes. After the session, I let the painting dry for several days and then added more color and highlights, working without a photograph. Obtaining the subtle curvature of the face with shadowing was certainly a challenge.  
Our studio coordinator, Nika Zakharov, is a very talented painter and art instructor. I am amazed by her ability to gain the likeness of our subjects, using different media including oils, watercolors, and pastels. She always encourages our group when she says things will get easier over time. In between sessions, I reevaluate my tools and techniques, adding and subtracting every third painting or so. This has proven to be very helpful. Last week was the first time I brought a tube of black paint and I believe it will be a keeper. I’ve also started opening art books that I haven’t viewed in a long time and began using new color mixing ideas for skin tones.

Eyes, nose, lips… chin, head, hair… Rinse, Repeat... This is what I keep telling myself. Perhaps by simplifying the process in my mind, it will become more user-friendly…

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