Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This is from a few days ago. I am taking a portrait class, learning to use the old master's technique of tonal under painting covered with glazes. So this is the result after two weeks. This is called the "dead layer". We used black, yellow ochre, and transparent red oxide, and flake white. I can't wait to see what it looks like next week.
I wanted to be able to see some of the inside of the pomegranate this time. It was fun trying to get the seeds to look juicy. I think I could still use some more highlights. And yes, this tasted very good, as long as you don't mind spitting out the leftover seeds.


  1. First, you are making great strides. I hope you keep up the pace. Another cartoon is developing in my mind and includes Dawn's eyes showing over the edge of the canvas with paint showering through the air. Second, thanks for following my blog. You were the first. Third, very neat -- taking the portrait course. I had to look up the spelling of grisaille (griz-eye or greez-eye) --- the grey underpainting technique. I've always wanted to try it, but I've worked mostly in watercolor and pastel. Interesting --- the dead stage --- Hard to miss the accuracy of the term. It will be neat to see how you bring the portrait to life -- bold color. Have you run into the "rule" of thirds in typical face anatomy? Typically, there are three equal distances: from bottom of chin to bottom of nose, from bottom of nose to eyebrows (occipital ridge), and from the eyebrows to the hairline (not top of the head). The eyes are about halfway between the bottom of the chin and the top of the head. The top of the ears are in line with the eyebrows. In a straight-on-view, there is about an eye's width between the eyes. I'm always starting with these landmarks and changing them slightly to better match the model. I also build the portrait from the eyes outward -- start with one eye, go to the next and then build the rest from there using the eyes and eyebrows as starting points. This is contrary to starting with ovals to establish the shape of the face. It's all about building shapes and lines relative to one another. Find points (landmarks) that you know are true and build other shapes and lines relative to those landmarks. Sorry, I'm reminding myself since I'm attempting to get going again on a portrait of one of my granddaughters. I've just finished one big Honey-Do list item so I hope to get back to painting. Next week end I'm off to Bobland in Raleigh. Keep painting. You are doing great!!!!!

  2. thanks for the info. this week was more of the same so I don't think I'll post the painting. I do think the mouth is in the wrong place - but as this is a learning experience, I just have to work with what I've got. I like your idea of building the features as you go and not being confined to an oval. Makes sense.