Thursday, November 27, 2008

Portrait In Process

So I told you yesterday that someone wanted me to do a commission? Well, here's my practice painting. Is that what it would be called? It's based on a photo of these two lovely folks.

I should have taken a picture of the original sketch, which I drew in blue watercolor pencils, but I didn't realize I wanted to keep track of the process. I should have, seeing as I'm going to have to reproduce this in a larger format. I really like the way the watercolor pencils blend into the acrylic paintings. I can use it or cover it up.

This is the underpainting. When I saw it, I thought... hey I like this! And I wanted to not only document it so I could reproduce it, but also, I just liked the way it looked. Oh, and sorry for the bad photo, it was done way late at night, with no natural light.
Then, I added white over the blue sky for clouds, and white on the tshirts. I like the way they meld together. In fact, when I did this layer, I said, "I still like it!" I guess I'm worried that I'll fuss with it until I ruin it. Always a problem when you are invested in the outcome. You've got to get over the fear of losing what is and just take the chances that what it ends up being will be good. I think that's called having faith in yourself.
Here is a more detailed stage. I've added the green of the grass and some facial details. I think I got him, but she is harder to paint... fewer shadows.
Cape Cod Double Portrait
11/26/08 AEDM #26
Golden Fluid Acrylic, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

I really like this style, but I need to ask my customer (OMG I have a customer) if this is what she is envisioning. I've tried more realistic painting styles, and it doesn't really turn out to my liking. I do think maybe I can venture some better flesh tones and some more detail in the grass and sand. I really like a narrow palette, just a few colors, and this color scheme is so light and airy. I want the couple to stand out from the background, but I don't want them to be separate from it. I like the unified feel of foreground and background. I am now at the stage where I don't want to mess it up. I don't want it to be much more than what it is now. I want that kind of rough look, but I'd like to go just one step more "finished." She definitely needs some pink in her lips.

However, this is the practice painting, so I don't really have anything to lose. I still have the photo if I want to go back to the simpler version. Or perhaps something different entirely.

Hey, J! If you see this, what do you think? Email me and we can work together.

Oh, and as for Nano...I wrote about 25 words yesterday in my novel. I had painting to do and I had correspondence to keep up with. And I wanted to see the rest of Anne of Green Gables. I was being indulgent, and I'm okay with that, especially since I have to cook Thanksgiving dinner (or half of it) today. I'm going to wrap this up, then shuffle the kids off to bed, take a shower, and come down to chop onions and make glaze.

It's a good thing I was so far ahead at the beginning of November.

As for the winner of the Giveaway... I can realistically say I'm not doing the drawing today on top of cooking dinner, painting and maybe even some writing. Look for the winner tomorrow!


Natasha said...

Thank you for sharing your process...from the start it was beautiful. I like the image you have right now and I think it's because there is a soft, natural blend and connection between the background and foreground. It makes the connection between the softness of the landscape and the softness, the care exhibited between the two of them more prominent. What a gorgeous job! I think she will love this...

Good luck cookin' up part of the Thanksgiving feast. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Jul said...

When I do practice paintings like this, I call them 'studies'. As in 'Study for Sachiko portrait', for example. I don't know, it sounds nice and artistly. :)

Congrats on your commission! I'm sure you will dazzle them with the results.

Rowena said...

A study, Jul! That's the exact term my swiss cheese brain couldn't remember.

And I talked with my client (tee hee) and we've agreed that a larger canvas is a good idea.

I am so used to painting small I often don't look at large as an option. But doing the study gave me the confidence.

I don't know why I've never done these things before.

And thank you Natasha. I will definitely share more of my process as I get closer to the final.

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