Tuesday, 17 October 2017

My first oil portrait from life

On Thursday 12th of October, 6 Days after my arrival home (Town of Zdar nad Sazavou, Czech Republic) I finally after some minor struggles with organising my work place at my parents house persuaded myself to ask my mother to pose for me for my very first oil portrait from life (I have done some portraits of my parents back in April in gouache). So far I have done paintings in oil of a still life - which is quite easy since the bottle on the table is not keen to move, or have a bad temper when painting gets too long etc.

My mother was quite convenient topic - She intended to watch TV news that evening so she sat basically moveless for me about 2 hours so I had a time to study her vigorously.

Anyway...Lighting in our living room is a nightmare. Intensity is really low so final portrait is quite dark (I have to use additional light for my canvas and palette to judge the colours properly.

On the other hand my task was a little bit easier since I have started use Rosemary and Co. Brushes from West Yorkshire recently - They are superb brushes!! (I love especially Evergreen series)

My Setting to see the bad, bad Lighting (and my lovely mother of course):

Here I used an old gessoed canvas that bared awful attempt from my previous times - I scraped it with scourer)

Here's the final painting - I sketched the proportions with No.1 round Evergreen dipped in a mixture of burnt sienna and ivory black. After that I blocked in general tones of the face and proceed directly with rendering. Sketch took me 2,5 hours. I put bright background to make the picture more vignette like. Hopefully I will become quicker! I want to be like James Gurney - prolific in every instance.
"Evening News" (oil on canvas 11x14) 


Useful pages:

My favorite brushes:
My oils paints - Especially good for indoor painting:

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