Vicky loves the water… I used a photo taken July 2009 as the basis for this painting. In that photo, her left arm was waving around like a cowboy’s so I had to do some adlibbing and decided I didn’t need to do much, just suggest that her arm is behind her. I think it’s fairly convincing. I really, really struggled with her facial features, particularly her mouth. I found myself smiling while doing this painting… the expression on her face is so cute and she’s a bold little gal. What fun!
For those of you that paint, I thought I would share a few “in process” photos. The support is a birch panel [1/4” prepared with GAC100 isolation coat]. You can see the warmth of the natural birch glowing through the painting and it pulls the whole thing together with a “warm day” look.
1. Drawing and highlights… Left photo below: I increased the contrast on my photo reference and collaged over her left arm as a test. Right photo below: After sketching her features on the panel, I painted the lights in her features and reflection with titanium white.
2. After glazing some hair [quin gold] and skin tones [yellow/red] as a base, I struggled to find the right colors for her facial shadows. The reflections from the water looked to be blue. Blue, yellow, and red… all side by side. At times she looked like she’d been given a serious beating – bruised! I persisted with what I saw rather than what I think her skin color should be. Difficult and patchy!
Again, I found the acrylic paint [both fluid and heavy body Golden] dried very, very quickly. That left brush strokes and bit’s of paint raised. In this shot I was still struggling with the shape her mouth and just that one little issue and she looked like… a blonde Rachel [a cousin].
3. I’ve darkened the water, puttered a bit with her mouth/chin shape,and darkened highlights in her hair. I’m happier with her facial expression now. I mixed up a very light skin tone [zinc white, yellow, and red] with glazing fluid. I glazed all of her skin with this mixture. The glazing fluid extends drying time, thus giving me more time to change the color up a bit and time for the brush strokes to flatten out. I think it worked well to unify all her skin tones!
Onward to the next painting… Cheers!