Friday, October 12, 2007

heads & tails - beginning a painting

For the Moca DC Gallery show "Heads and Tails" that begins November 1st, I decided to paint an image from a beautiful photograph. That photograph is here:

The first step, the underpainting, was done in raw umber. The entire canvas is covered in an umber mid-tone, which is then wiped away to reveal light areas and more concentrated umber is used for the dark areas. This underpainting took about three hours (note, the photograph is 8x10; the painting is 16x20):

Notice that I have changed the positioning of her body a bit, to allow her head to show (I did not want her to look like she was decapitated). Therefore, I brought her shoulders closer. My art teacher thought that it would better if there was water in the foreground instead of leaves, so I have tried to add that and to show a partial reflection of her.

After letting the underpainting dry for a week, I next glazed her body with a transparent mixture of Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow, and Prussian Blue. I used varying values of that mixture for the light and dark areas. I glazed her hair with a transparent mixture of Indian Yellow and Raw Sienna. I used the Indian Yellow to highlight leafy areas where the sun is brightly shining. I used a more blue version of the flesh color to capture the shadowed areas of the rock. The result was the first glaze, which took about two hours:

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