Author: Sandra_Fletcher, Contributing Editor
This is a demonstration of my entry for the July portrait: Ruth art project.
Richardnovak suggested the project, asking for someone to post a picture of themselves from which we could all try to paint portraits for learning and fun. Ruth kindly supplied the photo. To see the other entries or join this project, take a look here.
|I liked the composition of Ruth's reference photo so decided not to make any changes. I also liked the way the forms run into one another - for example, where the face runs into the neck on the left. This suggested a loose, painterly treatment in which not every detail need be clearly defined.|
|I adjusted the photo on my computer to lighten it which made it easier to work from. I noticed lots of interesting colours in the lightened photo. I produced a 7.5 x 7.5in (19 x 19cm) study on black paper to work out how to make the most of the colours that had appeared and to sort out the tonal values.|
|I created a black and white copy of the lightened photo which I posterized to 4 levels. This gave me a greatly simplified image with only 4 tonal values. I enlarged this to 15 x 15in (38 x 38cm) - the size I wanted to make my painting - and printed it out. As I only have an A4 printer I had to print the image in sections and stick them together.|
|I chose a dark green Canson paper to contrast with the reds I wanted to emphasise in the subject. I used a combination of Terry Ludwig and Conte pastels. The Terry Ludwig pastels (the short, fat ones) have a soft, buttery texture and leave a thick deposit of pastel with each stroke. The Conte (the long, thin ones) are very hard and I used these where I wanted to blend the softer colours.|