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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: "Clio" Stage 4

I like traditions. A tradition I started with my art, is to paint a portrait of each grandchild when she (or he) turns two. It is my gift and hopefully it will be something for them to enjoy, even at the age of two.

It's fun when I have the opportunity to add something within the subject matter of the painting that holds significance or special meaning for the child. In this case it is the dress. This hand crocheted dress was created by Clio's great grandmother, Donna Dickerson. Donna is an artist with her crocheting needles.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: "Clio" Stage 3

Stage 3: Painting the ears and hair. Since I still had enough paint for her skin color on my palette, I did not have to be concerned about matching the ears to her face. (I keep my glass palette in the freezer in between sessions which keeps the paint  from drying out.) For the background I mixed a light, creamy green which I will possibly change as the painting continues. Looking at this on the computer screen I already see things that need to be adjusted. Its always so hard to stop.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: Clio, Stage 2

I had a full day yesterday. I wondered how I was going to fit painting into my schedule. I promised myself two hours at the easel. At last, when evening came, I began with a prelude of cleaning my palette and mixing new colors. After scraping and cleaning the glass surface I then brought out my paints. My goal was to paint Clio's eyes. Surely that would satisfy me. Well, it didn't. Before I knew it the adrenaline started flowing and two hours drifted into five. It was sublime.

Stage 2: Painting Clio's face. For her dark complexion I mixed Transparent Earth Red with Alizarin Crimson and then lightened it with Titanium White. I also mixed in Cadmium Red Medium to give her pink cheeks. The light blue reflected color is Cobalt Blue and Titanium White. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Girl: "Clio", Stage 1

 Stage 1: Drawing in the figure with paint. The most important thing at this stage is having a great reference photo to work with. I photographed little Miss Clio in her back yard on her swing and was happy about the color, lighting and composition. Sometimes I get so excited to paint that I rush through this stage, anxious to move on and add color. This time I intentionally relaxed and enjoyed the process of mixing a thin wash of Transparent Earth Red and mineral spirits and then loosely drawing in her image (using a soft cloth to rub out the lines that I didn't want). It was fun and for some reason I was reminded of the countless hours I spent drawing people freehand as a high school student - one of my favorite pastimes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Boy II, Part 9

Little boy blue...

Portrait Of A Little Boy, II
24 x 18", oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson

Stage 9: Painting the background and completing the painting. Sometimes it seems like it takes longer to complete the last couple of phases in a portrait than it did to do all the previous stages. The paint is still wet so this photograph is not as clear in areas (where there is glare) as I  would like it to be for this post.

After painting in the background of sky, trees, grass and soil, I realized it was time to go back in and re-work the color and values on his face, hands and feet. I also softened edges, added more contrast to his shirt and jeans and blended the color and values in his hair.

This Little Boy Blue was fun to paint! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Boy II, Part 7 and 8

A sunny summer day, bare feet and little boy in blue jeans. Perfect.

Stage 7: Painting his blue jeans. When his mother chose these clothes for his portrait I was glad. I knew, with his blue eyes, dressing him in in the same color would be ideal. Plus, I could tell he was very comfortable dressed like this which helped him relax for the portrait.

And then there was the slide...

Stage 8: Painting the slide. Adding the slide to the composition added color, contrast and a playfulness to the painting. He was so happy to sit and smile before he let go!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Portrait Of A Little Boy II, Part 6

Using blues and pinks I painted ten little toes...

Stage 6: Painting ten little toes. I thought I would be able to do the feet and his denim jeans during one painting session, but more often than not it usually takes longer that I imagine when planning my painting goals for the day. In the end, I blocked in the jeans so that the edges would work well with his feet for painting wet-on- wet.