Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Enough Poking the New, I Have a Debt to Pay

Carousel 3, The underpainting. Wet into wet
watercolour interrupted by a friend dropping in.



From what I can tell from my crash reading/research course, it seems that portrait painters have set recipes for skin tones. They have a Caucasian recipe, an Asian recipe, a Black recipe and a Brown skin recipe. I now have a recipe too: for Caucasians: lots of Titanium white,( though Flake white is more off white and better says some for mixing skin tones), Cadmium yellow medium, Alzarin Crimson --be careful not to use too much of either one, a couple of hairs is enough--and raw umbra. are my basics. Then for cool tints a bit of Ultramarine blue or Veridian.
These are the oils I have repeatedly placed on the palette for the two kids. This is the palette of the two kids.

I've quit poking around with the iPad, downloaded some apps and now I have to pay my debt. I want to deliver the painting before Mother's Day--that's sometime in May--maybe the second Sunday? I've lost track, since I've lost my mothers and my own kids have flown the coop to other parts of the country. But we do watch TV and I'm sure the commercials for jewelry and Victoria's Secret will start soon and tip me off that the holiday for the benefit of jewelers and lingerie boutiques is around the corner. then I will be off to the next...

For my next portrait adventure, I've chosen to do my three grown, middle aged sons. I have many photographs of them as little boys, only one where all three are together as men.  Again I won't get to take a multitude of photographs to find the right one, but at least the one I do have, I took and  didn't use a flash.

The flash lighting on the two babies above, (the older boy is just three), is driving me nuts. I also want to darken the upper right-hand  and left-hand corner and leave just flecks of light as the plane would be lighted if the light was coming from about 8 o'clock over my left shoulder as I held the camera peeking in to say good night.




10 comments:

  1. Yes, Linda you have hit your stride in watercolors with the pan pigments. I remember last year when you were just starting out with cheap grocery store paper and pan colors. There was this wonderful spontaneity to those early flower paintings. You've recaptured that joy and sense of play now that you've returned. I love this!

    I agree with you about adding darks in the upper corners to make the background recede. The protective arm of the elder boy is painted divinely. Your research and practice have come together into a wonderful portrait.

    Nanina

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    1. Thanks Nanina for your very kind words. Letting loose with the watercolors again I owe to Dan Kent and his last post in which he passed on what someone told him: go easy with those watercolor--or something to that effect. I think so. In fact with all painting, I think we should go easy and leave a bit for the viewer to fill in. It's a contemporary idea traditionalist would toss aside. As for the pan colors, they have their advantages--the best of which is an in expensive product that assists in the development of good judgement with regards to the consistency of the paint and the effect one is after. And they pack up in a flash!

      As for the oil, I was glad/sorry my friend dropped over. I was on a roll carving depth and slowly doing those tiny hands. This morning I woke up thinking an eyeshadow sponge stick may be a good tool for little fingers--a touch and smudge pull? Today's agenda.

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  2. I have to admire your desire to do another portrait with multiple subjects. It's hard enough to paint just one person - matching size, etc is am amazing challenge. I think your older boy is phenomenal - such tender caring in his face, such joy in holding his precious new sibling. Your effort really shows.

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    1. I want to do another--using my men--so I can try handling the paint more freely. Working from someone else's professionally shot photograph (with a flash.I shudder), I have little leeway in interpretation. I want to see what will happen left on my own--my boys,my photograph, my painting. Thank you Dan, this painting has been grueling for me. Takes me a while to get to the studio.

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  3. The embrace of the older boy and the tenderness in his face are fabulous, and when this is said , I agree with you on the difficulty in portraits ..specially in oil !

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    1. It's his expression lovely Jane. What a mom he must have to prepared him so well for a new brother coming into his life.

      Left on my own--photograph shoot, selection, approach--I think I could develop a portraiture style that would make both me and the patron happy. I really appreciate your support on this project. I do feel inadequate--and that's why it's going so slowly. So I set up a deadline.--four days before Mother's Day.

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  4. I think mother's day will be may 13 :-) So you have some time.

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    1. Thank God! I need all the time I can get to paint plus three days of dry time, a day for varnish and a day for that to dry too. Thanks Agnes.

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  5. There's often a debate, this side of the pond, over who calls it Mothering Sunday and who calls it Mother's Day. Just about everyone I ask reckoned Mothering Sunday was American! It's not course - but we all tend to call it Mother's Day these days. Not important of course unless you study the Isogloss of languages and then it becomes interesting.

    Looking to seeing forward to the boys portrait, Linda

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    1. Me too John. Another day or two on those infant's hands and things should speed up. Keep your fingers crossed--I'm on a deadline now.

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