Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Eilidh - The finished painting

So here is the finished painting - Eilidh in Northwest Light.  Oil on canvas - 16" x 12".

Eilidh head sketch

I got a little bit sidetracked and made a quick sketch of the head from a different angle, and was struck by the simplicity of this pose and in particular the arch of the neck. So I abandoned the original idea and immediately started to make a new painting of just the head and shoulders. My main focus was on the shape made by the neck and the direction of the eyes.

Portrait of Eilidh

I don’t have any progress shots for this next painting but I do have a couple of the stages and ideas I went through before it turned into the finished painting.
I had originally intended this to be a large portrait - almost full figure, set within a darkened room. Here is a small basic oil sketch of the general idea. Following this idea, I had started work on the main painting, but about two weeks in came to a standstill, got frustrated and started doodling some different ideas.

Back Again

Haven't been able to post anything for a while because as soon as I got the blog going my internet packed up! I'm back now and will post something shortly.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Georgia - the finished painting

And the finished painting.
Georgia - oil on canvas 9"x 12"

Intermediate stages

At this point I stopped taking pictures and got lost in the painting process, but here are a couple of intermediate photos. Sorry for the poor image quality, I've tried to sharpen them up - when I took these photos, I hadn't intended for anyone to see them.
The main problem that dominated this painting was the eyes. I worked for a LONG time trying to get the eyes to "sit into" the head, and to bring some kind of form to them rather than just have them appear as a flat plane. Each painting I do seems to present some kind of "eye challenge", and I think some closer study of the structure of the eye
might be needed in the future. I changed the clothing at this point too. I felt that the contrast of the bright pink top made the whole painting more "punchy" and somehow more solid.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Stage Four - Underpainting

After loosely blocking in the large masses of light, and once the whole canvas is covered, I've arrived at something vaguely resembling an underpainting. At this point I just let the whole thing dry before beginning the overpainting.

Stage Three

Blocking in the main large masses of the face, with the help of a smaller,very basic oil study,which is really just indicating the position of the light and dark masses. I'm trying to keep it loose at this stage, as I don't want the painting to become static. Nothing is definite at this stage, the painting moves with the model.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Stage Two

Blocking in the hair. The important thing in the beginning is just to get some paint onto the canvas. I usually start by blocking in the dark tones in the hair, ignoring detail and looking for the underlying structure.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Stage One

Stage one of the painting. Basic line block in. General guidelines to get the painting started.

First Post - Portrait of Georgia

So here's my first post - a portrait of my soon-to-be stepdaughter Georgia, oil on canvas. This was the first piece of work I did after returning from my time spent in France as a student at Studio Escalier. This painting was exhibited at this years Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition in London. Next I'll post some progress shots of this painting from start to finish.