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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Family Portrait Painting: Part 9 - Completion

It was an ideal August morning in Colorado Springs. The air was still and the sky was bright blue. I had come to this park the day before (with my daughter and granddaughter) to check out various places in the park that would work for staging a family portrait. I paid close attention to the time as we walked from place to place to see what the sun was doing and where the light would fall on the shoulders of my subjects.
And so for the Johnsons, it was an enjoyable stroll through the park as we walked from one place to another, laughing and joking but still focused on what we were there to do, photograph them for this portrait.
Stage 24: Painting the lower stone steps. I enjoyed the variations in the stone steps. Once I blocked this area in with a solid color (the under painting), I came back in with a palette knife while it was still wet. I kept reminding myself to stand back and look at it from a distance just to make certain that the end result was realistic.
Stage 25: Blocking in and then completing the stone steps. I felt almost giddy when I realized how close I was to completing this painting. These stones were generally darker and rougher in texture than the others and so the under painting was darker as well.
The Johnson Family
36 x 48", oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson (c)2013
Stage 26: Completing the foreground. Although this photograph does not give an accurate representation of the colors in the foreground, (there are also warmer tones of browns, and rusts) I think you can see the textures I created with a palette knife to give it the feeling of small stones and gravel mixed in with sticks and dead grasses on the left. As with all of my paintings, I will look at this again in a couple of weeks to make any necessary adjustments and take a final photograph.

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