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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Family Portrait Painting: Part 5

Kelly was the next in line to be painted in this colorful family portrait.

Stage 11: Painting Kelly's face. This tonal method of painting a portrait was first introduced to me during a David Leffel portrait class at the Andreeva Portrait Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Even though I was painting from a live model then, I still use this approach when working from a reference photo. Getting this first thin layer of paint down familiarizes me with the shape of the face and the features.
After the under painting was done but still wet, I came back in with a thicker layer of paint that I had mixed to represent Kelly's skin color.

Once the basic skin color was applied, I added additional color. Pinks, blues, yellows...Kelly has beautiful undertones in her skin that enhances not only her, but the painting.
Once Kelly's face and neck were complete I enjoyed painting the gorgeous light in her hair.
Stage 12: Painting the dress. And then it was time for her fun dress and belt. I used the same approach as before of blocking in her dress with the solid color and then while the paint was still wet I went in with yellows to catch the hi-lights and dark greens and browns to capture the shadows.
This belt was a fun treat.
Stage 13After the dress it was time for her legs and arms. Details like the sandals (and belt) add interest as well as a historical reference to the fashion of this time period.
And here I am, at last, with four subjects down and only one to go! When I first started this painting it seemed like it would be "forever and a day" to get to this point. Now it feels like it is going quickly.
 Laurel is next!


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