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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Family Portrait Painting: Part 1

It has been years since I have painted a family portrait and so it must be time. This 36 x 48" painting of the Johnson family will be a great challenge for me. Just getting started with the composition of five figures on the canvas was exciting enough all by itself. My plan is to paint one figure at a time.
Stage 1: Drawing the figures. With a thin wash of paint I used the reference photos I had taken to loosely draw in the family members, freehand. At this point I did not worry about getting their features just right; I was more concerned about the composition and proportions.
Stage 2: Painting the first face. With multiple figures I am most comfortable painting from left to right and so I began with the husband/father, Steve. Painting wet-on-wet, (alla prima), my goal was to complete his face as much as possible. I will work on him more later when I have fresh eyes - plus it will also be helpful to study him in person.

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