Friday, February 12, 2016

Tara I WIP

Here's another little head study I did last year.  2015 was really all about developing my "party trick" skills, specifically, getting proficient at painting quickly on the fly.  Being able to bust out a painting might not be as cool as some party tricks, but it is a little more career advancing.  I decided I wanted to be able to demo in front of an audience at the drop of a hat, so I did a lot of alla prima paintings both from life and from photo references.  The one below is only a few inches tall.






I've been experimenting with all sorts of approaches--drawing outlines and shadow shapes with umber first, and skipping straight to light masses on a dark ground (as above); painting with carefully pre-mixed paints, and painting into the mud (ie, letting my palette turn into a giant slurry of brush mixed tints); changing around which features I start with, the dimensions of my panel, the tone of the panel....etc etc.  Instead of finding a preferred approach, I've discovered that the fun is in mixing things up constantly.

(By the way, I've talked before in other posts about creating a faux linen weave on my panels with criss-crossing brush strokes of acrylic gesso.  I think the painting above really shows off this effect to advantage.)


1 comment:

  1. I used to paint on Belgian portrait linen then switched to sealed MDF. When I gessoed it, I strived to smooth the gesso with a brush intending to apply a second coat and when I came back to do that, I noticed fine lines left by the brush. What the heck! I put the second coat at right angles thinking it would simply obscure the first set of lines, but it didn't!!! I love the way it pulls the paint off and allows for cool textures.

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