Thursday, June 30, 2011

My first portrait

12 x 24 acrylic

So last week I decided to try my hand at a portrait - a face.  I have no idea why I decided this was a good idea.  I did this from a picture my son took of his girlfriend while we were all at the beach in April.  We were sitting under a canopy so the face was mostly in shadow; therefore, I could not really get a grip on the correct coloring of the skin.  The skin proved to be the biggest problem for me.  (Of course - notice I chose a photo with sunglasses for my first portrait - this was no mistake!)   I tried several of the 30 or so recipes I read for skin color.  It was a mess.  It was chalky  and muddled.  And, when I stepped back from it, it was way too dark.  Then I decided to do what any aspiring artist should do when they get bogged down - beg for help!  Well I looked at a book which has you mixing recipes, then mixing 1 part of that recipe with 2 parts of another recipe, then add a pinch of this and of that. . . . AAHHH - confusing.  
I have really enjoyed looking at Linda Popple's face series she has been doing, so I enlisted her advice.  She simplified it for me, and the above is the result.  Jess doesn't have the confident brush work and bold colors that Linda's faces have, but it's at least a start, and I certainly did some learn some things. The colors are actually quite richer than the above photo shows.
So the above is the finished product.  It could still use some work, but after putting about 10 hours in it (not kidding), I'm finished for now anyway.  The following picture is how it looked before I communicated with Linda, which was after about 7 hours of work, then gessoed over:

So thanks Linda for giving Jess a face!