I started this painting over Christmas and blew through it until it was about 70% finished, and then set it aside and forgot about it until now. I experimented with a different approach to my cartoon: instead of just eyeballing it and using a needle to double check my measurements, I CHEATED by using guidelines in Photoshop to grid up the photo and then worked directly from my laptop screen onto gridded paper. It doesn’t really feel like drawing, but it’s a great method if you’ve got a tight deadline for a portrait commission and want to shave off a few hours. I transferred the drawing to the canvas and filled it in with some washy colour, not aiming to create something visually appealing, but a surface that is easier to paint on than pure white. At this point in the painting I hadn’t decided what colour or even what sort of garment she would be wearing, so I laid in some umber hoping it would be a good underpainting to whatever I eventually chose. That brings us to the stage you see here:
And quite suddenly, there you are:
Here’s an angled view without the glare:
This was half a day's work. I did some more once the face was laid in, but that's for the next post. As usual her features got a little smooshed in this stage, but there’s a couple more passes of paint to come. All the work so far was done with regular old store-brand bristle brushes. The wash was done with Gamsol, but the first-painting of the face was all pure paint. I’ll talk about my palette some other time.
Since our move Dave and I have been enjoying the country life. Did you know that you can set out beer traps in your strawberry patch to catch garden slugs?