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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Little Girl Portrait: Adele Maria

When I was a little girl, I drew people. As I grew older, in elementary school and then later in junior high and  high school, all I ever wanted to do was draw or paint people. Even though I have since expanded my subject matter, when I have the opportunity to draw or paint a person or group of people, I feel like I have gone back to my first passion. Portraiture.
Adele Maria
20x16, Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson (c)2014
Stage 1: The composition. Drawing a subject free hand, with paint, is a good exercise for the eyes. The more one does it, the more confident and accurate one gets. I lightly painted in the lines of Adele for this painting using my usual thin wash of burnt umber and mineral spirits. Making adjustments and erasing unwanted lines is easy with a clean cotton cloth. 
Stage 2: Blocking in the colors of the face. With a #8, filbert brush, I began placing all the major color shapes on her face. At this point I did  not worry about blending yet.
Stage 3: Completing the face. Once I have all the main colors down, I blend and add more color as needed. At this point, I also painted in the front part of her hair so that working with the edges where the hair meets her face would be easier.
Stage 4: Completing her hair and headband.
Stage 5: Painting the background. With this very simple composition I thought it would be fun to add a little interest to the background by using large, dramatic strokes of thick paint.
Stage 6: Blocking in the coat. When blocking in the shape of this coat, I focused on the lights and darks.
Stage 7: Completing the painting. Painting this coat was fun and challenging. While using ample paint, I tried to communicate its thick, soft texture while keeping it simple at the same time. There was a lot of reflected color in this white coat: yellow, blue, purple, pink, green and gray along with various shades of white.




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