I thought I'd share a little step-by-step of the portrait I'm working on for next week. I begin with a base of colour...using brayers, stamps, stencils, spray paint and my fingers to add layers of colour. At this point I don't really care if there is any kind of cohesive pattern or colour but just like it to be interesting.
This base is followed by the drawing of a portrait. I like to block in places of shadow and highlights kind of like a paint-by-number to make things easy for me as I don't want these paintings to be labour intensive but instead fresh and loose.
Next I add the shadows utilizing a translucent dark like pthalo blue, dioxazine purple, pthalo green, paynes grey, alizarin crimson or a mixture of two or three of these colours. In this case I mixed purple, blue and grey. I like to add the darks like I'm using watercolours, thinning the paint and working in layers in order to allow some of the background pattern and colour to show through.
The next step is to begin adding mid-tones. At this point I begin to incorporate titanium white, unbleached titanium, raw umber and a mix of any of the previous colours.
Then I begin to add highlights, including orange and or yellow along with napthol crimson to my previous palette. I will continue to add shadows and highlights until I am happy with the completed image. I also consider the background and how it reacts with the portrait. Sometimes I leave it as is as I like the contrast and at other times I will add either a translucent colour over the pattern like a glaze to create cohesiveness or an opaque colour to highlight the portrait. During the entire process I find that I enjoy the colours and patterns that make their way through the painting as I feel they add interest to the completed piece. This one will be ready to share on Monday. Have a terrific weekend!
AIRdirondack Art Project