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Discussion in 'Creative Arts' started by Lesia44, Jan 12, 2021.
A self-portrait I painted during lockdown. Oil on canvas.
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Ha! Now Ill stalk you...
Its very nice. Thanks for posting
Wow. Impressive talent!
My daughter calls this my ‘smouldering intensity’ look!
I was gonna say that you look like you just spent 90 min in P&R around election time...
even his portraits are from the left!
amazing work though.
If you look closely you'll see that I'm looking to the left... which must mean I'm standing on the right.
Also has a Gouache-in-the-right-hands quality about it, which makes me very, very happy to see.
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It's supposed to be somewhere halfway between realist and stylised. I used to do super realist but I've trying to move away from that over that last few years, trying to exert less control and let the painting do its own thing. I think I might be having more fun doing it like this.
Well, I daresay Caravaggio himself would be most pleased.
Them's fightin' words in Wine Bars near Museums, you know.
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Supper At Emmaus Is my favourite painting.
I like your range of values from dark to light. Most people don't use that many. I think that it makes a drawing more dramatic and interesting. I wish I had time for drawing a self portrait too, I have to delegate some tasks to Topwritersreview and will also try this kind of art. I've actually done that before, I always run into problems of consistency when I do it though. One technique that I like doing though is covering the paper in charcoal and then subtracting the material with a erasor.
Well observed. That’s a prime concern when I’m painting, making sure I get a wide dynamic range and I take that to a slightly exaggerated level to make it ‘pop’. I build it up in layers, old master style (not that I’m comparing this to an old master, of course), probably about 10 or 12 complete passes over the whole image, establishing the darkest values first.
I gotta say... That's pretty incredible.
Thank you, sir.
Do you have any pictures in progress?
I’d love to learn more about how you arrived at that final result.
I don’t have progress shots, I’m afraid. I probably should take some but I usually don’t as I find photographing paintings a frustrating process. I can never get them looking as good as they do to the eye. And it’s not like I don’t know how to take a good photo, been doing it off and on professionally for the last 30 years. But there’s something about flat artworks. Even the pic I posted above is not nearly as interesting as the actual piece.
In short, it’s a process of layering. Each layer is quite ‘thin’ so you still see the layers below. In the final painting you’re seeing layers through layers through layers, although it never seems like that.
Oil on linen. I paint on linen rather than canvas as I prefer the finer surface.
I start with Ultramarine Blue and map in all the dark/shadow areas. This is the first step in establishing the dynamic range that I mentioned above. This also has the advantage in motivating you at the start of what’s going to be a long process as you quite quickly arrive at a recognisable image, albeit in monochrome. I then go back over the whole thing with black and firm up the darkest areas. This is important as the eye is rather unhelpful to a painter because it compensates and adjusts depending on what you’re looking at, so you have to establish the bounds of your dynamic range at the outset if you are to be able to judge all the tones in between. It’s then on to the flash tones. These will be various yellows and reds with lesser use of greens and blues. I usually start with the yellows and then the reds using one colour at a time over the whole image, building up thin layers so that the final tone/colour is a combination of the different layers showing through. In the end I probably get to somewhere between 10 to 15 layers. Each layer typically takes between a da to two days to complete and is allowed to dry before the next layer goes on.
It’s basically a long (but rewarding) slog from the on until I get to the point that I realise I’m just fiddling rather than being truly productive. It always turns into a case of diminishing returns. And then I remember the old saying “A piece of art is never finished, it is simply abandoned at some point.”
The final part of the process is that after about two weeks I put it away and never look at it again.
“Flash tones”? Lol! Sorry, that should have been “flesh tones”.
@Lesia44 , How do you start? How do you compose? From a photo?
I start by deciding what I want the painting to look like and I always have a firm idea of that. I’ll then take a load of shots aiming at that. They don’t have to be perfect, they’re only for reference, so as long as they get across what I’m after we’re good. Most of the time there isn’t a perfect pic, but there will be two or three that I like elements of. So those will be my reference and the finished painting will be a mash up of all three. Perhaps the lighting from one, the expression from another and details from a third. I also take close ups so I‘ve got fine detail reference. I then photocopy one of the main reference pics. I then start cutting out the major shapes with a scalpel. I then use these cutouts as stencils to draw in the major shapes. Once those are in place (jaw line, eyes, nostrils, ears) I just sketch in the rest by eye. That’s easy once you got the major proportions right. And then it’s on to paint. I work with the larger iPad Pro constantly in one hand, which is great as it allows me to zoom in and out of pics and flick between different shots. Used to be that I’d have a ton of pics pinned all around the outside of the canvas, so the iPad has cleaned all that up.