Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sisters: Part II

Posted by: Kate

...and picking up where we left off...

I laid down an Oleogel couche on Morgan's face and painted merrily away (I would later do some more work to soften the stark lighting and the forms around her mouth).

I used a bristle brush to drag a natural looking hairline onto her forehead.

I Oleogeled Molly's face and painted it too.  It looks like I changed the colours dramatically, but it's just my camera settings.

Arms and hands and all that jazz:

Oiled out the hair, above, and painted it, below.  A light touch, always using the right brushes for the job, and lots of wiping off.

And now for the coverlet:

And because some people asked, here is my experimental palette:

Way different from my last few projects.  Only two colours are repeats and the rest are new.  Now, I like the idea of a set palette in theory, but no one palette is enough for me.  I'm always playing the field and seeing what other colours have to offer.  Maybe one of these days I'll reform my wild ways and settle down with a nice palette and live out my days.  Or maybe I'm not capable of that.  Maybe my problem is that I'm not in love with a palette, just the idea of that palette.  Sigh.

When working out the colour study for this painting I was having a hard time picking my umber, but then I was all, I SHALL USE ALL THREE.  My main flesh colour was Cyprus Umber Dark crossed with Ultramarine Blue Green Shade (which is why I put them next to each other on the palette).  I used French Sienna or Madder Lake whenever something needed to be yellower or redder.  The Green Umber was great in the background, and the Cyprus Burnt Umber Warm was occasionally just the right colour in the flesh tints.  Roman Black, by the way, is a great neutralizer for flesh tint, and I think it will be a permanent addition to my palette.

Here's a final pic of the finished painting, "Sisters," 22x14", oil on dibond:

And you know, I am sooper p.o.ed to discover that the little fiddly touch ups I did in Morgan's face dried way darker than they were supposed to.  I'm going to have to redo them as soon as I can rein in my colossal rage.  But essentially the painting is done.  And it was rewarding to do.  The thing about painting family and friends, which is what I've been doing exclusively since moving to the Island, is that you have more of an emotional connection with the painting as you work.  I got to revisit a lot of old memories while I was working and since Morgan and I were friends at that age when Shit Disturbing becomes your prerogative, it was a fun trip down memory lane on a ten speed bike with a slushie balanced on the handlebars.  I thought to myself, Dante G must have experienced something similar in painting his sister.  It must have been fun to revisit those happy childhood memories...of racing against each other to write sonnets to a set rhyming scheme formulated by their brother.  Gosh, I'm having so much fun just thinking about it I'm weeing myself right now.

Another rollicking Victorian past-time: tableaux vivants!
Lewis Carroll
June 26, 1875
Albumen silver print
4 13/16 x 6 3/8 in.


  1. Hey Kate, firstly a beautiful painting I must say :) I wanted to let you know that I wrote a poem based on one of the pictures of "Sisters" posted above, and I've included it in a blog post as well.

    I did put you as a source to the picture, but I wanted to make sure it was fine :) If you'd like I can happily take it off.

    Here is the link to that blog post

  2. This is very nice blog about painting.and very informative blog.
    Painters Toronto

  3. This painting of "Sisters" has been nominated for the people category of The 2013 Making a Mark Prize for Best Artwork on an Art Blog on my blog Making A Mark

    I'm unclear whether the person who nominated you asked you if it was OK for the final image to appear on my blog.

    You can see the nominations listing here If it's a problem please let me know and I'll remove it immediately - just leave a comment on the blog post or you can email me (details in the side column).