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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: Valley Gardens, Harrogate

Session 6: Painting the dress, socks and shoes. There were several reasons why I was inspired to create this painting, one of them being this full length dress. The layers of color and detail were not only challenging but fun. In a  way it was kind of like frosting a cake. After doing a thin undercoat, I went back in to the fresh paint with two and sometimes three sizes of palette knives, applying and spreading the thick paint in festive colors. The flowers were especially enjoyable!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: Valley Gardens, Harrogate

Session 5: Painting the background. After brushing in the shapes and dark values of the background I went back in with a palette knife and added thicker paint. There is still more to do but at this point I am going to move on to her dress and let it rest for a while. Even as I write this and look at the photo I see things I want to fix and change. I think I will soften some of the edges on the leaves and simplify the branches a bit more.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: In Valley Gardens, Harrogate

Stage 4: Painting the arms and hands. Since I did not do a small color study first, I am curious to see how her skins tones will look once I paint in the background. In session 5, I will concentrate on her hair and headband.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: In Valley Gardens, Harrogate

Stage 3: Painting the face.
My inspiration for painting images of Northern England has not left me yet. This image of Elena in the Valley Gardens of Harrogate has been on my mind for at least a year now. Throughout the past year of painting landscapes and lambs of North Yorkshire the desire to paint this portrait has stayed with me and was growing stronger. Suddenly, I knew it was time. 
The Valley Gardens are peaceful and beautiful year round. Adding Elena to the setting was ideal.

Stage 2: Blocking in the shapes with color.

Stage 1: With a loose wash of paint thinned with mineral spirits I painted her figure and shape of the fence.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Yorkshire Lamb: A commissioned painting.

Many times when I accept a painting commission I use my own reference photos but once in a while I am asked to create a painting from the client's favorite picture. It's an opportunity to see something special through their eyes. In this case, the little lamb was photographed by one of the clients (it was a group Christmas gift) and the composition was left up to me. I decided to pull the little lamb up close to the viewer to make the subject matter much more intimate and personal. 

Stage 5: The completed painting, framed.
Yorkshire Lamb
11x14", oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson

Stage 4: I brushed  in the body focusing on shape, color and values. After that I went in with a palette knife to give it a nice thick texture.
Stage 3: I painted in the background with a palette knife.

Stage 2: The face. I used a filbert brush as well as a palette knife.
Stage 1: I painted the composition with a wash of mineral spirits and Burnt Umber on a canvas that I tinted with a thin layer of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber, mixed.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nidderdale: The Completed Painting

This view from Guise Cliff was stunning. The air was fresh and cool. Occasionally a gentle breeze would pass through and rustle the grasses as I looked down upon the colorful valley. As far as I could see there were farm houses, villages, reservoirs, large and small estates, the peaceful River Nidd and fields with sheep and cattle grazing. England never looked more beautiful to me.
36x48", oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson
Stage 6: Painting the foreground.
This painting was fun but a challenge. Using only palette knives, I constantly underestimated the amount of paint I needed so I was always squeezing out more and more paint; it rarely seemed like it was ever enough.

The final painting with the 8x10" color study.