View Full Version : She

07-23-2011, 12:31 PM

Okay. Painting next. Same daughter. Not that I'm playing favorites, but I took a photo of Heather and I just can't resist painting this one. The light is doing such wonderful thigs.

She is wearing purple again... not my fault. It is my favorite colour, but I swear it wasn't intentional.

Anyway... I think this time I will bore you with a few photos of the drawing... because I worked really hard on it.




I've decided that graphing out the painting is really worth the effort. It took me a long time to learn that lesson.

I started painting with the right eye. Predictably... When I was a little girl and I coloured in my colouring books I always coloured the eyes last. I didn't want the people I was colouring to see they were naked so I got everything else done first. Now I like the paintings to be alive with me as I work.


When I draw freehand I start with the right eye and then work my way out from there mapping things out in a fanning sort of pattern. I suppose that really isn't necessary with the paint since I've got my drawing in place, but I do it anyway.




Sorry, I probably shouldn't show so many progress photos, but I like to.





This is about where I'm at. I need to go back on a few tweaks before moving forward...

07-23-2011, 02:11 PM
This is really taking shape.
Very accomplished

07-23-2011, 03:57 PM
Thanks Andrew.

I'm still refining areas that needed work...


07-23-2011, 05:17 PM
Hoi Grunge,

"She" is a wonderful title!
Medium: ?, Surface: ?, Dimension: ?
Go closely monitor your progress!


Ps: also a beautiful song, so it should be a magnificent painting!

07-23-2011, 06:07 PM
Oh, sorry. 16 x 20 inches. Oil on canvas. so far I'm using Winsor Newton Titanium White and Grumbacher Dioxazine Purple. Thanks Karel.

07-23-2011, 07:38 PM
Think I will stop here for today, although I wish she had a mouth already. Looking a bit like a mutant without it.


07-23-2011, 07:46 PM
What do you use to draw grid, etc? Plain pencil is just not working for me.

07-23-2011, 07:52 PM
Hey Eric,
I'm going with a little softer lead so I can erase it later. not in the H family. I prefer a low B like a 2B or maybe just a B. I don't want to go too soft because I touch the canvas a lot as I do the drawing and it smudges quite a bit. I use a kneadable eraser to remove it before I paint. That works pretty good and you don't get so many crumbs. I did prime my canvas first with several coats of Gesso to make it as smooth as possible. If you aren't doing that and you are using canvas, maybe the tooth of the canvas is holding too much of your graphite.

07-23-2011, 09:25 PM
Yes of course, early days, with those wider areas of face tonal changes yet to capture, and the details of the head dress and the fabric. The highlights you have depicted so far really bring the work to life even at this early stage.

A joy to see your painting developing

Thanks Andrew.

I'm still refining areas that needed work...


07-24-2011, 12:11 PM
Thanks Andrew. Not too much pressure, huh?

Okay, I'm back to work today. I've got the mouth started and just getting into the cheek on the right.


07-24-2011, 03:52 PM
:) I think that's incredible,wish i had your talent.

07-24-2011, 04:34 PM
Thanks Trumper. You've done some really nice work. Your plants and pots was really good. I think because it was less complex it was more successful for you. Baby steps you know. As you can see I'm working from a photograph. I've adjustd it so it is black and white so I don't get tripped up by colours at this stage. and I've graphed out my drawing to get it as accurate as possible first. Why dont you give it a try. Pick a simple subject and get it drawn out then paint it in monochrome to get your values right. Make sure you spend a lot of time looking at the reference and really see what is going on with the tones. and blend, blend, blend to get your transitions smooth (unless a hard line is called for). I have faith in you. Why not try a still life with some glass objects, some metal objects and maybe some wood. Stay away from leaves and flowrs on this one. they are complex. Or you could try a portrait. If you do, I recommend a face somewhat smaller than what Im doing. the larger the areas of nothing but transition the more difficult to make them look convincing.

07-24-2011, 05:49 PM

07-24-2011, 06:56 PM
No pressure at all apart from the pressure we put on ourselves to achieve something we are happy with. Your painting is developing nicely, with the form of the face now more clear. The highlights lift, with no sense of flatness, which is excellent. Your use of monotone is wonderful.
Will this be glazed or do you intend using complimentary colour technique?
Well done

07-24-2011, 07:42 PM
No, I dont think I'll glaze this one. I'm not so good at that. Not going complimentary either. I think I'll just paint it and ignore the fact that it's purple.

Here's where I'm stopping. I'm exhausted.

Yay! Lips!!

07-24-2011, 09:40 PM
This is gonna look amazing when you finish it. It already looks amazing as it is!! I love seeing artwork in progress, as I wanted to work with grids and I'm just lazy to do it :P I will have to try it some time.

07-24-2011, 11:28 PM
Nice to see the whole face completed
Takes on a whole new aspect
Well done

07-25-2011, 03:08 PM
No, I dont think I'll glaze this one. I'm not so good at that. Not going complimentary either. I think I'll just paint it and ignore the fact that it's purple.

Here's where I'm stopping. I'm exhausted.

Yay! Lips!!

well, purple is far from my favorite color, but your talents make it look good.
exceptional as usual, inspirational as usual and wow, fabulous image of your daughter!


07-25-2011, 11:10 PM
Look forward to seeing your work develop

07-26-2011, 04:34 AM
Wow, T! Your daughter rocks the purple. I've never used a grid, but think I must now. Can't wait to see your progress.

07-26-2011, 03:57 PM
Kam, thanks!! But I'm really not quite where I want to be yet. I cant see her breathing.

Andrew, thanks again. I'm not going to call tbe face complete just yet . I'm bothered by areas on the forehead that seem flat to me. Also I think I'm still working out the reflected light on the bottom of the jaw on the right. Sime if the highlights arent painted yet. Those would be the ones tbat are mist white, not counting the birthmark which needs to be much darker. TMI, right?

La, I'm beginning to think you have something against purple. :lol: Its jyst an under painting though. Only most of this one will be purple. Not all.

Andrew, thanks again. You are very entheusiastic. :lol: thanks!

Sye, hello again! Yes, please give the graph a try. I find it enormously helpful, especially with complicated areas. Just remember, you need the graph on your reference too.

08-06-2011, 07:41 PM
Update. Yay!!

08-06-2011, 09:01 PM

08-06-2011, 09:17 PM
Great to see your progress, the fabric detail is very well done.

08-06-2011, 09:19 PM
Yay indeed, wonderful to see what you have done.

08-07-2011, 07:26 PM
Hey :wave: Grunge, Is the finish in color or monotone purple? How many layers you paint over each other and what kind of brushes you use?


08-13-2011, 01:25 PM
Hi Karel,

The finished painting will be in colour. Her clothes and feathers will be mostly purple because that's what they are in the reference. but there will be flesh tones and some blue and red as well.

I'm not sure about the glazing. I tried glazing the last portrat and I'm not sure that it came out so well. I think I might start out on this one with a couple of glazes and then switch to a more opaque paint. that's how I did the last one. It seemed to work out okay. I got some depth out of it but still was able to cover up areas that I wasn't satisfied with.

My brushes are very tiny. I have a collection of small brushes within reach, but these are the three that are getting the most use. I may bring in a liner at some point but there really isnt much in the way of hair showing so maybe not.


I've started on my feathers. To paint them I'm first blocking in the base darker colour and then pulling a lighter tone through with the straight edge of my bright. I'm getting a little texture this way, but I'll leave it as long as it isn't too obnoxious.


08-14-2011, 04:29 PM

08-14-2011, 04:39 PM
I bow before the Underpainting Goddess. :) :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

08-14-2011, 04:42 PM
You made me smile. Thanks!

08-14-2011, 05:47 PM

Thanks for your technical and material painting information, I like it, nice to see every step of progress.:cool:
The only remark, pay attention to her ear.


08-14-2011, 09:15 PM
Oh, you don't like my ear? LOL, I was mostly trying to ignore it.

portrait passion
08-14-2011, 10:20 PM
Grunge, once again lovely work and I can recognise her as the same girl as in your previous painting. Can't wait to see the finished painting.

08-15-2011, 04:10 PM
Thanks Maire. Your work is quite lovely! (i snuck a peek)

08-21-2011, 01:49 PM

08-23-2011, 11:56 PM
i think I'm abut ready for colour.


08-24-2011, 03:40 AM
Yes looks like it, very well done underpainting.

08-24-2011, 01:27 PM

08-24-2011, 04:49 PM
Impressive Grunge! I think, it is beautiful as it is! :cool:

08-26-2011, 12:17 PM
*insert chin droppy smiley here*


08-26-2011, 01:14 PM
:) unbelievably good :thumbsup:

08-27-2011, 10:50 AM
I've got to ask: what does SHE think so far?

11-22-2011, 08:12 PM
Sorry Sye, I didn't mean to ignore you. My kids don't seem too terribly thrilled when I paint them. I guess the thrill has worn off. They are my favorite subjects...

Okay, back to work!!

11-22-2011, 08:27 PM


11-22-2011, 08:45 PM
wow! wow! wow! superb
and great to see it WIP

All the best

11-23-2011, 05:33 AM
Hi Grunge,

I have been watching with awe in the sidelines all these months. Great progress and I am glad to see you posted pictures again of your progress. I am learning a LOT. Someone made a remark on her ear and it somehow appears to be far out from her face - it might be the dark area going down her face near her ear. Just my opinion. Great job!

11-23-2011, 08:34 PM
Thanks Brian, much appreciated!

Ozi, thank you. I will take a look at that. I didn't notice, but I'm so darn busy looking at the face, and I wasn't sure what Karel was referring to. I figured it was just not as finished as the rest... I'll have a look. Gracias!!!

11-27-2011, 01:09 PM
Just wonderful. I do portraits also and just ran across this thread. Can't wait for finished painting.

Dana Design
11-27-2011, 02:02 PM
Holy Socks, Teresa! This is gorgeous! Can't wait to see how you go along placing color over the purple underpainting. I've never thought of using purple. May give it a try.

12-27-2011, 12:52 PM
This is a wonderful work. I am happy to come in here since that long time. What an interresting way you are going. I am waiting how you bring this to the top!

12-28-2011, 04:07 AM
Awesome work.... lots to learn from this one...graceful in purple ...waiting for the flesh tones....

02-08-2012, 01:27 AM
Okay! Finally, finally, finally back to work on this one.
Here I've been working up feathers.

after a lot of fudging around I decided those background feathers were just too confusing so I pushed them way back...

And now... it is done. Yay!!!!
colour palet not in any particular order: lamp black, burnt umber, french ultramarine, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, titanium white, dioxazine purple and rose madder permanent.

02-08-2012, 05:29 AM
:) Brilliant ,well done

02-08-2012, 12:57 PM
Wow Theresa, just wow.

02-08-2012, 09:45 PM
Yay! I've been anxious for this finish. Sye, here. I'm now Sissal since this site is psycho. Can't log on as me, darn it.

But, you! Wow. Love the deepness where those busy feathers were. Her eyes... my fave. Nice. Sooo nice.

I always learn sumpin from you!

02-08-2012, 10:32 PM
Thanks Trumper

Tony, thanks! Your "wow" means a lot to me.

Hey Sye! Thanks. Great to see you. Got anything on the easel at the moment?

02-09-2012, 05:22 AM
Amazing portrait thanks for posting .

02-09-2012, 11:53 PM
Hey Sye! Thanks. Great to see you. Got anything on the easel at the moment?

A few portraits, one giant mermaid, a "sustainable" scene for a juried thingy end of month that I'm not sure about at all...

Progress is slow, as work slaps a brick wall in there. Wish my art paid more! :crossfingers:

Great to finally be back on here. Got so sick of waiting for the powers that be to figure out my account, I just created a new one!


02-10-2012, 02:10 AM
Thank you Brian. And thanks for taking a look.

Sye, didn't see anything by you in the critique forum... let me know. I'd like to take a peek.
I've got a show to aim for. Deadline first of next month. I feel ready except for framing. I've decided to become successful with my art. Its a plan anyway.

02-11-2012, 01:03 AM
Yay! A show!?! Go you. Very cool.

I'm trying to make a little more this year than last. The goal actually is to double it. A few years of that and I MIGHT be able to quit the day job. :wink2:

I have a WIP in this forum titled "A Portrait of Natalie". (My daughter, as subject matter, too!) It was hastily posted, but, hey: at least it's up.

Best wishes for a successful show, and hope SHE appreciates your efforts!

02-11-2012, 04:15 PM
I've been very impressed following your progress with this piece. Your attention to detail is unquestionably good and your technique and capture of expression is equally amazing! Thanks for gracing us with this well done work.

-Paul R.

02-13-2012, 09:19 PM
Thank you Paul. I am humbled. Thank you.

02-15-2012, 04:48 PM
Great values and proportion. Nice job!

02-23-2012, 02:02 AM
Wonderfully done.. Captured the expression as such.. One question for you.. Why underpainting in violet? Any specific or technical reason behind it?..Want to project the violet tone after further layers?

02-26-2012, 12:41 AM
TMcD - Thank you!

Docsaro - Thanks! On the underpainting... I first saw purple under painting done in watercolour portraiture to bring colour into the shadows. I forget the name of the artist at the moment but it was a woman here. I'll get the link for you if you like. I've done maybe around 10 portraits or so in that method in watercolour. When I switched back to working in oils I just decided to continue with the purple.

I've lived with the question "what the heck is the purpose of an under painting" for years. I found lots of techniques but no one really made the purpose clear to me.... until.... much later. Well, now I know the under painting serves as the base beneath layers of glazed paint. I did start off each of my recent paintings intending to glaze them but now working on the under painting for the third I'm telling myself... who am I kidding. I'm not going to glaze this. I might start of with a glaze but I'll go right back to opaque paint very quickly. I tell myself that purple is keeping my colours in harmony, but I'm not really sure how much really shows through. I do use purple when I mix flesh. (Another question few seem willing to answer.. how do you mix flesh.)

I do use the under painting to hopefully sort out my tones. I have difficulty deciding tones when I'm painting in colour. I probably get them wrong in the end anyway.

Hope this provides some answers for you. Again, if you want that link I'll be happy to find it.

02-26-2012, 12:40 PM
Stunning! What a wonderful work! Thank's for showing.

02-26-2012, 04:11 PM
This turned out beautifully. I really applaud your mastery of this. Lovely.

02-27-2012, 08:46 PM
Alfred....Ozi... THANK YOU!!!

03-04-2012, 04:21 AM

Dana Design
03-04-2012, 12:01 PM
OMG! It's brilliant, Teresa! Well done, Lady!

Would you mind if I copied this thread to Portraiture?

03-04-2012, 09:59 PM
Andy, thank you!

Dana, thanks to you too! Yes, please feel to copy the thread. I would be honored.

03-26-2012, 06:38 AM
T. I have a watercolour painting book in which the author underpaints all her works with purple, both cool and warm mixtures, it makes the work glow, as it has done with your portrait. I can't find the book just now or i would tell you the title!

Also, I have some dvds by Tamara Geddes who underpaints portraits in purple too.

Beautiful work!