Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Alla Prima Portraits

Still practicing up for the Face-Off at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA on August 16, 2013, from 6-9 pm. Here's a post about my first set of alla prima practice pieces.

Next on the easel was my future son-in-law, Will. Will was also my model for The Mariner, The Incognito Project. 
In the first 20 minutes I did a line drawing using burnt umber paint straight out of the tube. My canvas is a Fredrix, Pro, Belgian Linen, previously stained with Gamblin Fast Matte, in a combination of transparent earth red and ultramarine blue.
More about my pre-mixed flesh color palette here. 
During the second 20 minutes I added a little background, placed the nose, lips and started laying in the beard.
Click Read More to see the rest of the in-progress pictures below the break.

In the third 20 minutes I was working from the shadow side into the light. I got a little bogged down in getting the far eye in.
 The fourth 20 minutes I just kept working from the darks to the lights.
 In the fifth 20 minute session I added more mid-tones and the highlights.
In the sixth 20 minute session I finished the hair and shape of the head. This should really have been the last session. 
Will agreed to sit for about 10 minutes longer, I reworked the far side cheek bone and eye. This shot is more accurate color. (All the previous in-progress photos were taken with my iPhone)
What was working well:
~I'm much happier with the brushwork on this one.
~Pre-mixed color worked well.
~Using no medium worked well.

Things to work on:
~I still need to speed up. This was a little longer than 3 hours, I'd like to get it down to 2 1/2.
~I want to consider the entire painting composition more fully from the start.
~Work on the background a bit more, maybe with more transparent paint...

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