Friday, May 24, 2013

Even MORE layers, giggles, and "holy crap this is awesome!"

I am pleased to announce the completion of this little experiment and even more tickled to announce it wildly successful!  Sure I'm a little sad it is seemingly over so soon, but hey, that just means the inspiration is still here and I'm still ready to paint!

Here's a breakdown of the final phases:

Let's start with the background.  I glazed a layer of Ultramarine Blue and Prussian blue mixed. Of course, with the Yellow Ochre from before, I made a very nice shade of green.  (but but, I want bluuuueeee!!)  No worries, I'm not done yet.  I brought in Titanium white to the areas I wanted lighter that had gotten too dark from my indecision.

This is when I noticed my dust problem.  I'm not sure what the Old Masters would have done about the dust, but I know it was giving me grief.  In an attemptto hide it, I dabbed the still wet blue with a lint -free cloth.  Bam!  Cool texture.  I'll definitely remember this!

The coat saw another layer of Ivory Black and Titanium white.  Just building volume without attracting a lot of attention with colors.

The skin tones is where this is getting fun... (Getting fun?  Haha, this has BEEN fun!!)  Along with the Yellow Ochre/Cadmium Red/Titanium White mixture I'd been using all along, I added Burnt Umber, Payne's Gray, Ultramarine Blue, and some Lavender.  My goal in this sitting is to create the most realistic skin tone possible, and while I'm at it, really nail down the details.  I also painted the flesh tone over where his eyebrows are and the very short hairs on the side of his head.  Because you can see the skin through his hair, I thought it best to paint it along with all the other skin.  This way there wouldn't be a weird line.  The only problem was he look WAY too weird without eyebrows!  So I painted those back on.

A little more details added to the phone and the board is covered with wet paint.

Portrait of Paul, Phase 4.  Bringing in colors and form. © 2013 Maranda Schemanski 
Aaaaand it's time for the paint to dry again.  *sigh*

My fifth sitting with this piece everything really falls into place.  I went over his coat again, and made the highlights a bit brighter than I want in the final painting.  This is so I can glaze lots of black over them and I won't lose them later.  I went over his face one more time and fine-tuned all the details, using Ivory Black and Burnt Umber on a tiny brush.  I also painted in his hair.  It's getting so close!

Portrait of Paul, Phase 5.  Adding contrast and fine details. © 2013 Maranda Schemanski 
In the final (bittersweet) sitting, I glazed Ivory Black over the background and coat, adjusted the hairline above his ears, finished the phone, and painted in the buttons.  Threw on some highlights on the far side of the coat, and that's it.  Just like that I'm done.

Portrait of Paul, Phase 6.  Finishing touches. © 2013 Maranda Schemanski 

I am so totally pleased with this experiment that I will most definitely continue painting with what I have learned.  For starters, painting on a gessoed hard board is amazing.  I didn't once fight with the surface and could devote all of my attention to creativity.  Add to that the longevity I have added to each piece, I see no reason to paint on canvas ever again.  (A little too dramatic maybe?)

I am torn on the drawing and preparation involved in a piece.  This is probably an old dog hesitant to learn a new trick, or maybe I just lack the confidence in my skill to just start creating talking.  I have always planned planned planned.  To sit down at a blank board and just start is terrifying, and also liberating at the same time.  Like swinging on a trapeze without a net.  Well okay, I can't fall to my death while painting... but you get my point.

Welp, that's all for now.  We'll end here on this being wildly successful and until next time, keep those creative juices flowing!!

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