View Full Version : Portrait WIP
08-04-2003, 04:48 PM
As you may have figured out, I'm about to start a WIP, which hopefully will end up with a decant looking portrait. I also plan on doing a demo/article on this one eventually, but had a talk with Cathleen and co, who thought I could do both.
I chose to to a portrait because;
1) I love faces and eyes.. a look can say so much
2) They are so complex and exciting, and they immediately make a personal connection between the portrayed and the viewer.
3) A portrait covers mostly everything you can possibly encounter as a painting artist.
So, what, or who's' portrait should I paint then? Well, there is of course my son William... but he can't sit still for more than one tenth of a second, and painting his portrait could be a bit too emotional. My sweetheart Jenny... but nope to that one as well. I know her face so well, that everything less than 100% perfect would make me unhappy with my progress, and unhappiness would lead to a lack of passion for the painting, lack of passion would mean the end of it.
So, photographs reamin... - not a model though. I really don't like the face-front, all smiling pose of a person. - It's really quite unnatural for a human to be smiling. With un-natural I mean you have to use tour muscles in your face to hold a smile, and that's hardly relaxing. I always seek the kind of pose where the portrayed person seems to be caught of-guard, but still display a great presence if you know what I mean.
And one of the easiest ways to find such a pose, is to use the VCR or even better - the DVD. I simply try to remember a movie I liked because of it's colors or acting or something... go rent it and play around with pause/play until I find a good frame that gives me what I need. I would never go for the too famous ones though... then likeness-work would take too much of my concentration, and people would think more of the resemblance than the portrait as a painting in itself.
In tis case, I saw a movie the other night, which a friend brought over. It was a terrible movie, and I had a hard time sitting still in front of my TV. But then, all the sudden, something attracted me. It was a girl, having a conversation with her boyfriend or something. She wasn't the most beautiful woman I have ever seen or something like that... the scene just caught my eyes for some reason. So I asked my buddy to hit pause on the remote, and picked up my sketching pad. I did a few fast ones, all in different poses with a 7B graphite pencil, from different frames on the tape. Now bare in mind this was a VCR tape, and the machine wouldn't let me pause or more than five minutes at a time. This evidentially cause damage to the tape in some way. So I had my five minutes, sometimes not enough, to draw my "tiny's " as I call them. They will later help me decide on what pose to go for. I spend some time thinking about this. I don't have any technical hit points or preferences in choosing one... I just go for whichever appeals to me the most, - usually the one that tells a story of it's own, which holds some questions. This could very well go on for a few days, or it could take a second. In this very case, one day was what it took.
Here's my sketching pad and a sheet from it:
I circled the one that attracted me the most. - Why? I just rely on my feelings that's it. Many of you may have chosen a different one, because you trusted your gut feeling. That just the way it is, and ain't' that great?! Somehow I took this pose with me when I went to bed the other night, thinking of her thoughts, seeing with her eyes and trying to actually be her, to understand her. I have to come up with a reason, my reason, for her facial expressions.
Next: What size should I do this in??
08-04-2003, 05:17 PM
Oooo this is gonna be good! Cant wait !
08-04-2003, 05:27 PM
Du är riktigt skicklig måste jag säga!:eek:
(You're really good I must say)
At least some of you learnt some Swedish!:D
May I ask you where in Southern Sweden you live? Myself in Jönköping!:)
08-04-2003, 06:01 PM
I am enjoying the reasons for your choice of what, who to paint....I too have always had a strong relationship with painting faces for reasons similar to yours. Your reasons make me ponder reaching out farther than just the people I know, for that one shot that speaks to me. I have 3 grown daughter that I have photographed repeatedly ad nauseum (to them) over the years...you can imagine...yet I found it took rolls of film to get that one ah-ha reference.
Thanks for your extreme generosity in documenting this process of yours.
08-04-2003, 06:02 PM
I now decided on which size I'll use for this one. The main reason for my choice was I happen to have a prepared Masonite panel lying around that would do just fine.
This is Masonite, after a couple of double-sided layers of glue, a few layers of my own "gesso" mixture (water based house paint (white), glue and chalk). The Masonite provides a very smooth surface, - if you handle the prep-work as you should. I don't really need the smoothest of smooth for this one, so I simply skip the sanding part of the preparation. I cover the panel with a layer of a grayish coat... oil-based. This is only to remove the chocking whiteness of the gessoed surface, and gives me two directions to go, light or dark, as for a white panel which only allows a dark direction.
The size of the panel is 18,8"x24,4" or 47 x 61 cm, - a good size for a portrait. I normally will not paint a face larger than life. It just looks weird to me. So I'll do this somewhat smaller than a scale 1:1.
Transferring the idea of a drawing to a panel? How? -This way:
As I have decided on the size of the panel/portrait, I cut out a piece of wrapping-paper in the exact same size, tape it to the panel and do my sketch on that. Proportions is what matter in this step, proportions and getting to know my subject a bit better. Placement is not important, as I'll explain later, nor is details. The big shapes, circles, triangles, keeping the relationship between the different facial structures. I'm not after a spot-on likeness of my model here, which of course makes it easier for me.
I use a piece of charcoal for the drawings.
Now I will rub some charcoal to the back of the wrapping-paper, place it back on the panel, find the right placement and then "fill in the lines". What I look for when I place the drawing is a composition that works. Normally, placing her in the absolute middle would make it less interesting, so I'll let her be placed on the right side of the panel. Why right? Well, I guess it's a cultural thing... as we (most of us anyway) are reading from left to right, our eyes tend to go that way when exploring something, like a painting. Of course, you could manipulate this, but I don't want to. If I had placed her to the left, the eyes would have no place left to go after noticing her, since I decided on keeping the background very simple.
And please, - anything you're wondering about... - ASK!!!!!
//matt, on his way to bed
08-04-2003, 08:22 PM
Thanks for posting your WIP. What do you mean by "fill in the lines"? Do you draw over the front of your drawing to transfer the charcoal (on the back of your paper) onto your panel?
08-04-2003, 09:31 PM
Hi Matt. Lovely pose, and very suitable for your painting!!
Can't wait to see your wonderfu work.
08-04-2003, 10:22 PM
Oh my friend... I am going to enjoy watching this one come to life. I appreciate the detailed text that goes along with the photos... helps a beginner like me a lot! BTW... the new digi-camera is doing great... the photos are crisp and the color is balanced well (can tell by your hand). I'll be watching this daily!
Hi Matt, sounds like you are off on another adventure here to the realm of creativity: step by step, thought by thought. I would ,however, like to ask you to endulge my thinking on the placement of your subject. As like you say we read mostly from left to right but we are also led. The eyes may be the windows to the soul but they will also lead the viewer. As I see your sketch she appears to be viewing to her left, which will be but a short distance to out of your painting if she is placed to the right. However, placing her to the left will have her gaze directed to the center of the painting which of course is reading left to right. JMHO
08-05-2003, 03:16 AM
Hi, and thanks for the comments so far.
Well dear Bernie, it seems to be working just fine!! If only I had some knowledge in handling the images in photoshop, to get them even more close to the real thing. Maybe someone here has a good link??
Hi Olan. - Good thinking! And here's how I thought in choosing her placement.
1) I used some scotch to attach the paper to the panel, as you can see I had to move it a bit from the original placement.
Why? Well first of all I had done the drawing somewhat crooked, almost tilting - probably because of my sitting position last night. So I flip the paper to make it balanced (in a vertical line, with a right angle to the sides of the panel). I pushed her further to the right because I felt it made it more in harmony.
Now, my eyes travel along the background, from the left/bottom left, to her face and eyes. The eyes make us stop for a while and then take us even further on our way to the right, by looking to something slightly in front of her to her left. This way, I feel there is more to the painting than the limiting size of the panel. The painting becomes something that's a part of the surroundings in a way. Wherever she will be placed eventually, the area to the right of the panel will be a good spot for something interesting. Placing the panel in a corner would be awful.
Would I have placed her to the far left, I would have needed something in the middle/far r right to make up for the lack of balance... and I didn't want that.
So, I now "trace" or fill in the charcoal lines with a fine graphite pencil. In this stage, It's easy for me to "read between the lines" so to speak. Taking a few steps back, I can see which lines that shouldn't be there, and more importantly, - I see the lines that should be thee. I can lower the eyebrows, raise the corner of her mouth, change the width of her jaw and so on.
And finally, the transferring in done. I then fill in the lines again using a graphite pencil, to help me see them better. I am careful not to touch the charcoal lines, as my hands are by nature fat, and will smear the charcoal out... I sometimes place a paper under my drawing hand.
After that I take a dry cloth and wipe away the remains of the charcoal, and I come up with this.
That marks the end of the prep-work, the foundation is there. Now all I have to do is to start building on it... yikes!
08-05-2003, 08:54 AM
Matt.....you mentioned Photoshop help. My background is painting/ digital painting / now painting traditionally again, so I can help you with Photoshop. Let me know what you are having problems with, and I'll see if I can give you some assistance.
I like the start you have going. Can't wait to see more.
08-05-2003, 10:13 AM
Great! I'll drop you a note via pm instead ok?
08-05-2003, 10:22 AM
Hope I'll be able to help!
08-05-2003, 12:45 PM
I have gotten to "know" my subject over the night, and during this morning. I normally walk by my paintings several times each hour, catching a glimpse, studying the detail... whatever comes to my mind. Absence can be very good for presence.
I am happy with the drawing. It's far more detailed than what I would need I realize. I have decided to paint her rather "rough", using thickly applied paint and leaving visible brush-strokes. But all in all it's very helpful to have a good strong drawing.
One thing that struck me as I was walking by the panel was the fact that it was so cold and dead. The Grey top layer of paint really is a sad color... so I decided to liven it up some. This is not necessary, but I felt like it.
So, I gave my palette some Titanium white, Ivory black and a bit of Sap green. Mixed it with quite a lot of turpentine to get it more liquefied, (if that actually is a word... more running is what I'm looking for) and to help it dry up pretty fast.
I then randomly place some of this paint on my panel, using my blending knife.
Then I take a piece of paper and spread the dots of color all over the panel. In this case the result was still kind of dead, so I added some black and green to my brush, rubbing it in on the surface, using random movements with my filbert brush # 10. I was happy with the result.
Now I leave this to dry.
08-05-2003, 01:35 PM
She's got quite the fetching look going on there Matt...:) Lookin' good.
And your graphite pencil drawing didn't smear I see...did you fix it?
Recently I was trying to paint on a neutral gray surface and found it too cold to paint on...as it seems you have also...:D
08-05-2003, 02:20 PM
Yes mam'... I did fix it before doing anything else.
I have a can of pre-mixed gray paint... i might add a little warmth to it in the future.
08-05-2003, 02:48 PM
Matt, I have to tell you, this has been one of the most insightful WIP's I've seen to date. You're really going to be helping out beginners with all of the process details you are showing. (It's surprising how sometimes it's the little things that get us newbies the most flustered.)
Thanks again, and I look forward to all of the rest.
Oh.. and.. yes.. liquify (liquified) is a word.:D
08-05-2003, 03:19 PM
Your post is a reason for me doing this! All I want to do is share, and thus maybe help!
Thanks a lot for your comments!
08-05-2003, 03:40 PM
Wow! This is fantastic so far! i have just recently begun learning to paint portraits in oil and this WIP is incredibly informative. Good work. Can't wait to see more!
08-05-2003, 03:43 PM
I am holding my breath, waiting for your next post!
Do you teach in real life too?? ;) Anyway, your a natural! Painter as well as teacher, even if I can appreciate the work you must have put in to get to this level!
should I sit up? hmmm
08-05-2003, 03:51 PM
This is a wonderful demonstration and teaching tool for us newbies. It makes some sense of the steps to set up and begin a painting. Thanks a lot:clap: :clap: :clap:
08-05-2003, 06:08 PM
I just spent half an hour in front of the panel, thinking of where to go next. Since I already decided to paint this in a painterly fashion, I can't do what I normally would do. So this is somewhat of unexplored territory for me.
I will lean back on safe wall of the classical training I had in art school, dividing the face up in planes, coming up with one base-color for the flesh, then using that color I will create one cool and maybe one warm.
So, where are the planes? Well the forehead is one, the right side of the cheek, - which is different from the left due to different lighting, the chin... the throat. I suspect I'll use maybe three or four values top for tomorrow's blocking in. Basically, I'll exclude the lights and the darks. (Thanks for the lesson Mr. Milt!) to create the basic shapes of the facial structure.
After all it makes sense... why paint the nostril first, and then paint the nose around it? Easier the other way around...
I haven't really thought of a background yet...
I think I know which colors to use tomorrow.. but this might change however.
- Titanium White
- Gold Ocher
- Ivory Black
So I put everything in place in order for me to jump right at it first thing tomorrow morning.
Well well... not much done today as we can see. But I've been thinking a lot... and that's where the painting should be done, in your head, using your brain!
Good night everybody, take care,
08-05-2003, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by Matt V
Your post is a reason for me doing this! All I want to do is share, and thus maybe help!
Thanks a lot for your comments!
You are the nobleman I tell you!
08-05-2003, 09:09 PM
This is an exciting WIP Thread!... I encourage everyone to rate it.
08-06-2003, 05:02 AM
This is fascinating!!! Thanks Thanks for doing this as aWIP and telling me about it in the drawing(?) forum!!! I've been so busy lately that i would have missed it!!! and that would have been a wonderful learning experience lost. It's all so exciting!! I can't wait for the next post!!!!
You're a great artist, teacher and virtual friend Matt.
08-06-2003, 05:56 AM
Hi ,and good morning to you all.
I finished of last night by making decisions about today... but I feel somewhat bolder today, and will paint this even heavier, looser and livelier than planned. This means that the prep-work was not entirely necessary, but I don't regret it for a minute. - It's so fun!!!
I squeezed out some
- Titanium white
- A mix of Ivory black and Burnt Sienna (70/30%)
- Cad.red light
- Gold Ocher
on my palette and started mixing away.
When choosing a brand of colors, the decision was easy. Sweden have a terrific manufacturer of paint, both 'regular' paint and artists paint. They are called BECKERS, and make high quality oil paints. I have used Rembrandt, W&N, Blockx and Lefranc & Bourgeois, and none of which is better in any way then BECKERS.
It's a creamy, permanent color that suits me just fine. I'll post my review soon enough! ;)
So, I equipped myself with my weapon of choice, - a BECKER painting knife nr 13, and prepared for combat.
As I said before, this s new territory for me, so I could end up walking right into a mine-field, as well as reaching the most beautiful of meadows... - Or maybe I'll just stand still?
First of all, the forehead block;
As you can see I use a rather big knife, this to help me even more in my efforts to loosen up a bit.
I visualize where this color could be used... which facial areas could have this base color? Well ,pretty much half of the face. I now decided to use only three values of paint. This one, a darker and finally the darkest. Note that the darkest colors will not be anything close to darkest on the finished pieace... this is the foundation! I'll add light and shadow later on in the progress.
This is the result after putting down this color where I want it:
... to be continued
08-06-2003, 06:12 AM
So, I now mixed the next value of color. Using the big pile that was left on my palette as a base, I added some more Cad.red, ocher and black. I want this color cool.
I load my knife and continue... I think that almost the rest of the face could be painted in this value, thus using only two values all in all. But, details are sooooo attractive and need some more dark. So I save some areas for a third value.
The only thing I really try to think of while using the knife, is the direction I apply the paint in. I try to 'feel' the topography of the face and follow the natural movements. Always use horizontal movements, and not vertical in the forehead, cheeks and chin.
A detail shot:
08-06-2003, 06:36 AM
Next step, the third value. Adding even more of the three colors to my piles, more black and less ocher, I went for the remaining blocks.
But then, my desire for doing details took over... ouch! I began painting the lips instead of painting the idea of lips, using simple shapes. Let's just say it didn't look good...
I fixed that problem by returning to my original idea... simple shapes and blocks.
Unfortunately, I didn't have any paint left from those early stages and had to make some new... not entirely the same, - but that's okay!!
So here an image of the panel before I got to work today, and the final image from my first sitting, approx. 3 hours of work. The image is a bit too yellow, but I believe you get the point from watching the previous pictures.
In the beginning:
I must admit I'm still not sure about the background... I think I will take some of the dark values of the face for that.
08-06-2003, 07:03 AM
Thanks for sharing your progress with all of us. This is a thread NOT to be missed.
08-06-2003, 07:13 AM
Thanks a lot Ozioma!!!!
08-06-2003, 07:57 AM
Absence can be very good for presence Beautifully said.
I cannot tell you how enthralled I am by getting to watch the progress here, and I devour every word you're saying. Earlier you said you fixed the charcoal drawing. With what?
You're doing an incredible job of teaching & sharing. I totally appreciate this... Thank you very much.
08-06-2003, 08:01 AM
You're too kind!!!!!!! But I forgive you for that:)
I used BECKERS Fixative spray... rather two thin layers of spray than one thick layer!
08-06-2003, 08:30 AM
This is the best teaching tool I have ever seen. If I had seen this earlier, I know my painting would be much better. Now, thanks to you, I have some idea of how to improve. I will be watching!
:clap: :clap: :clap:
08-06-2003, 08:34 AM
yeah, what Mellie said.
08-06-2003, 09:17 AM
I nearly fell off my chair this morning when I saw you painting those skin tones with a painting knife! WOW...have NEVER seen this done...I am so impressed!
You're a calm good teacher...I would have had to photograph my breakdown about the time you had to wipe out mouth details..lol...your skin tones are gorgeous (even with the dreaded black)! I always have difficulty judging how much darker a value the darker side of the face should be...just what look good?
Or do you have a formula?
08-06-2003, 09:18 AM
Just wanted to add my accolaides to the rest! Thank you, thank you!
I will not be on computer again until next Tuesday -- so will have loads to read and see when I return. Your detailed explanations and close-up detailed shots are exactly what we need.
This is so informative and just at the right time. I will be taking a 3-day figurative workshop from our own Terry Ludwig on Aug. 22, 23 & 24 in either oil or pastel. I usually work in pastel -- but everything you are saying except the actual mixing of the paint applies!
08-06-2003, 10:24 AM
Listen guys... I'm so grateful for your kind words and comments, the do mean so much!
But this is not teaching... remember that! Maybe you can learn something, but not because I teach... I just paint and write about it. My guess there are just as many folks out there who think the opposite of what you are, and totally disagree with my methods and thinking. But that's the way it should be!
Sweet Cathleen, I do not want for you to fall down from anything... but I wouldn't mind seeing the picture of it!:D That in combination with that breakdown you mentioned ought to be a great picture?!
About values... I am definitely NOT a great techician... absolutely not. I couldn't care less about eight or six or twelve value scales... they kind of kill the joy for me. But I DO know, I have loads to learn in that subject.
I usually get the darks too dark... and the lights too light. I ask myself; Must there be such a vast difference between them two? I guess not. Bruin70 was kind enough to show me something; he took a painting of a boy, by Sargent, removed the lights and the darks using Photo Shop (or similar) and showed me the base for the face. It's interesting too see how little it takes to create something so strong and obvious.
I am a lazy painter, as in I tend to keep to the things I know, and not take too many risks. On the other hand, coming to that point, where the knowledge exists meant taking some risks in the past.
I do stick with my basic palette for skin colors... sometimes adding something for cool or warmth. I guess that is a formula in some way...
It's going to be fun to see where this face takes me, and you.
I think I'm going back to the easel now... for some work on the clothes.
Talk to you soon, bye bye for now,
08-06-2003, 11:38 AM
Yes there are different methods and I for one believe in getiing my feet wet real quick, so I draw very little and do not put on under-paintings. I draw a guide on the canvas then imediately put on the color, trying to hit the values. The second coat is merely touching up and will more than likely finish it.
I however study other methods and yours is very interesting, not that I want to try it, but I will watch your progress. You seem to draw very good, so I was wondering why you need to draw the subject so often. Why not draw directly on the ground, wouldn't that be more fresh than copying from the paper? The paint brush is going to re-draw the subject anyway, so why do you go into so much detail with the charcoal? I don't mean to insult you or your method in any way, I am just asking for the sake of my knowledge.
Thanks for sharing.
08-06-2003, 11:57 AM
So. I decided NOT to do any more painting this day, being there for the family instead.... but... all the sudden I would have 30 minutes to myself! Paint!!
I mean... doesn't this image just scream out :"Come to me... Come to me now!" Well I thought I heard a voice and I planned on laying down the foundation for her jacket and shirt.
Th green wash I applied to the background had in my mind developed to the final background color, though in need of some more work of course. Which color go great with green? - Red!
So, her jacket should be red.
I used some titanium white with W&N's Venetian red. It all seemed dandy at the beginning.
But I was wrong, not in choice of color... but WAY of in value. See for your self. Notice how the red is far more stronger in hue than the skin. Do you see it? They should be equal in strength.
(this image is far too dark.. compare with the above)
YIKES!!!!!!!!!! I paniced... could I save this? Paper towels would help but little, so I rapidly took of my T-shirt, poured some linseed oil on it and started to wipe wipe wipe.
I managed to save it... sort of. But from this mistake, I learned something: Don't' ever rush things, better to wait and think it through first. The combination red/green will work beautifully once applied correctly... so at least I know that now.
Her she is, sort of baffled and confused by her creators ideas...
Now I will definitely let her rest until tomorrow...
08-06-2003, 12:05 PM
Yes, I heard that before, - why the detailed drawing?
Well it's partly old habit I guess. That, plus the fact that I don't like to muddy up my canvas or panel with drawings and corrections. I like them clean. The extra drawing is also good practice, and it gets me closer to the subject. That may sound corny but it's true.
Don't think you're insulting me!! This is the way it should be! As many different methods as painters. I thank you for raising the question.
08-06-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by Matt V
I just paint and write about it.
About values... I couldn't care less about eight or six or twelve value scales... they kind of kill the joy for me.
I usually get the darks too dark... and the lights too light.
Bruin70 was kind enough to show me something; he took a painting of a boy, by Sargent, removed the lights and the darks using Photo Shop (or similar) and showed me the base for the face. It's interesting too see how little it takes to create something so strong and obvious.
Matt...Painting and writing about it IS teaching in my book...:D don't fight it... you are teaching more of the little things than many art teachers bother to do...we're just thankful...:)
I thought I was the only one who could care less for the whole value scale...lol...but I need to learn because I am the opposite of you I tend to have my values too close...:(
Is the lesson from Milt somewhere to see as I am sure I could benefit as well...:)
I like that you are teaching & learning yourself with this WIP and it's OK...you humble man...always we should be learning...:) Great save on the shirt!!
I won't be checking in as regular as I am off to my class reunion...but back soon...:)
08-06-2003, 01:18 PM
I have misplaced the mail I received from Milt, but I'll send you the pic he send me OK?
So you're off and away now? I hope you have a great time, and make sure you come back soon.
08-06-2003, 01:20 PM
I think i understand about your drawings, don't agree, but understand, I mean thse drawings should be framed themselves. The application of paint with a knife is something I have never tried. first; why is so much paint required? second; I see where you placed it on but not how you worked it in with the brush to get to the point you are now. third, I liked the red sweater but your t-shirt to remove it??? You needed to tone it down a little, I would have changed it on the canvas, as I mix paint on the canvas a lot. Tell me Matt, you don't paint near that hard wood floor do you? or anywhere near that wonderful chair? I would get killed if I put a wet painting near anything like that and i've been married for 45 years! lol
Matt this is so generous of you to share with us non-trained new painters (talking for myself) this is an excellent wip, your descriptions are really making this a first class thread.
in doing this type of painting (thick) are you expecting the paint to be dry for the next day ? is there much difference between golden ochre and yellow ochre ??
and I just about laughed myself silly picturing you tearing off your shirt to clean the canvas:D I sometimes find myself twitching and jerking not knowing which way to turn or what to do when I make a big mistake or spill. anxious for the next issue
P.s what's that painting in the background ??
08-06-2003, 02:06 PM
(You don't mind me using your actual name do you?)
"I see where you placed it on but not how you worked it in with the brush to get to the point you are now."
- Well I have yet to use a brush! And I use so much paint because I'm after a very painterly effect, impasto like. I use the knife to prevent me from getting into details at this stage. I'll switch to brushes pretty soon, and continue to build up on the knife applied foundation.
"I would have changed it on the canvas"
- This was never an option for me, as the red color was blocked in massively, with a lot of paint.
Please don't bring up the floor thing... I already get that from my fiancé ;) .
And by the way, that copy from an "unknown" you have at your website, is actually painted by William Bouguereau (1825-1905), in 1891, and it's called "La Cruche Cassée", - The broken pitcher.
And finally, of course, - I welcome to WetCanvas! (If I didn't already do that?)
08-06-2003, 02:10 PM
I'm sure glad SOMEONE asked those questions Loop! ('cause I didn't have to courage).... and.. yes.. I noticed that painting in the background too! lol
And Matt, did you REALLY rip off your shirt? The thought of it is just too funny! What we won't do for our art! Right?
(and.. like Cathleen said...hate to disappoint you, but you ARE a teacher, Matt.. and a very good one at that. Teaching IS just sharing what you know and understand.)
08-06-2003, 02:26 PM
How's it going?
I doubt the surface will be completely dry tomorrow, but maybe just enough to 'sit still' for my tenderly applied next layers. We'll see.
Golden ocher is cooler and darker, only a bit though. It works better when mixing skin tones.
They contain pretty much the same ingredients; oil and Natural Iron oxide.. only Gold ocher has some Synthetic as well.
In edit: I forgot to mention Gold ocher is opaque, Yellow ocher transparent.
I would love to tell the story of me in my rage, madness, artistic panic, ripping of my T-shirt, to show my muscular chest and stomach, wiping and wiping ferociously on my canvas.
But sadly, - I'm not that cool... I simply took it of, in lack of anything better to use. It was old and had some stains on it.
And the painting in the background, is an old one, which was sent down in the cellar for a while, but now back 'upstairs'.
I did a demo of that as well, an entirely different technique:
And of course you can see it at my sitew: www.jemawi.com
Thanks for your comments.
08-06-2003, 02:40 PM
Hi Matt!! I too have to say that YES you are a teacher and a super one!!! I'm enjoying this WIP immensly!! It is so alive!! I would like to know what kind of complexion she will have. As we all know there are many diffferent 'white' skins.
08-06-2003, 02:47 PM
You are sure nice to me!
"different 'white' skins. " ??? I'm not following you now... - what do you mean???
Just kidding!:p :o :D
Here's a secret... I'm not sure yet! How's that for a professional huh?
I tend to go for warm complexions... maybe use a little burnt Siena and India Yellow... but I wont decide on that. The moment will decide for me.
I do know, that the state it is in now, is a little too cool for me... I might go over the face with a new, warmer layer before going any further in the building up process. - Maybe!
08-06-2003, 04:59 PM
I'm sorry I don't know the correct terms for this, but how dry is dry enough for you, when you hoped you could keep painting tomorrow? Did I miss use of fast drying medium somewhere? I personally find it very hard to work in too thick and wet paint, maybe I will get there some day. I am asking because I use W&N Artisan Oils and they are water based and extremely slow drying, how about the ones you use? Or do you keep your paintings inthe sauna overnight ;)
Sorry if I am rambling, it's bedtime.
The step-by-step keeps astounding and I hope to be trying out some of the things you do really soon, when time is given. It is great for me to see things done here that I've read about but had a hard time visualizing!
08-06-2003, 06:17 PM
Maybe I didn't mention this before, but I use my paint without any mediums what so ever! Nada, niente, ingenting, zip...
I would say it's impossible to work on top of a thick wet layer of paint, without mixing them two of course.
Well ,now it's just after midnight here in Sweden... 12 hours have past since I painted the face.
This evening, I have followed my normal routine, sneaking up on my painting all the time, and an hour ago I realizes somtething... the right side of the face was too cold, and all the sudden I did NOT want a green/red background/jacket. Funny huh?
I'll go for a dark background. This will make the face come out more, and will help to give more depth to the painting.
And I couldn't wait until tomorrow, so I began to render the last sitting... applying a new color on the right side and also giving the panel yet another value, adding ultramarine to the palette. I just finished this adjustment and I feel much better about it now. Maybe I'll be able to sleep now.
So, the white parts were still kind of wet, but the 'darks' were pretty dry; conclusion: More Titanium white in the mixture will slow drying speed. Good to know.
As before, I used the knife for this work, same colors (+ ultra.blue) and no mediums.
I tried and tried to take some pictures, but it's way too dark, so I'll do it tomorrow instead. I also couldn't take any snapshots of me working with this stage, but I'll write about it more tomorrow.
Now 15 minutes has passed since I finished this nights extra work, I keep on looking at the panel... - I am starting to see a finished painting, starting to visualize the complete portrait.
I am happy with it for now. (Deja vu?)
08-06-2003, 07:20 PM
Hi Matt, this is coming along beautifully. I just wanted to say that I'm glad people are rating your thread!! I see a Hall of Famer coming on this one.
This is truly a wonderful thread!!
08-07-2003, 03:32 AM
Glad to hear you like it! - Hall of fame??? I have no idea of what makes a thread a HOF or not.
Here's last night, in words and images.
As I said, I wanted some more warmth for the right side of the face. So I added Ultramarine blue to my palette and went to work.
Can you tell the difference? I hope so :eek: The areas I used this new value wee under the nose, the cheek and the chin. As I was working with this, I 'saw' the background, and took the mess I had on my palette and laid it in.
Now here's a lesson, a secret in creating depth:
Our brain works great with our eyes, they are two very complexed features of us humans, but also .. very easy to fool!
Look at the painting. Your eyes tell you the the dark block beside hr left side is the background, cause that's what the brain calculates, that it's behind the face. So now, that color is somewhat dedicated to background in our mind, we don't really notice it or study it, but it's there.
And for my point; using that same color in the face will automatically make us see the chosen area recede.
Look at the side of her cheek. It's just another layer of paint on top of an underlying layer. You cannot paint depth, - the canvas being two dimensional, but you can paint the idea of depth. I used the same blue/gray mess for those areas, the same value that our brain already told us is the background. This is only the first step of such illusions and will be dealt with more carefully later on.
Adding this same color to the shadows under the nose, under the chin and in the eye sockets will have the same effect. But one have to be careful not to over do it, to over use it, or the brain will flip and see it as a facial color instead of an area that recedes.
Also see how I didn't worry about sticking to the right side of the line parting the cheek/ear/hair from the background... I let them intervene... Up close it might look strange, but look again! Rarely is an edge completely crisp and hard.
My next step will probably be continuing with the background. It will be darker than the paint I already applied... but I'll use the same manner for the background as I do for the face... building layers.
This is a close up, showing the life in the paint:
I think continuing with a knife would make the surface too busy, so I'll probably go ahead with my trustworthy soldiers, the brushes.
But then again... - who knows!?
08-07-2003, 04:45 AM
I felt like giving her some clothes, starting with the shirt. I wanted a bright color, having my imaginary dark background in my head. So, white is was.
Pure white would not help me at all, I needed to tone it down so my palette looked like this:
1) Titanium White
2) Yellow Ocher
3) Terre Verde (Veronese Green)
I loaded my knife with a mixture of the colors above. This would also be the foundation of the shirt, not a finished result.
I covered the whole shirt area with this color. Then, to break up the monotony, to add life to it I added more ocher and green in various mixtures, applying it to the shirt.
I'm not that happy with the shape of the shirt as it is, but will adjust this when working with th jacket.
One thing could be said here, a reminder sort of; I have not yet begun to work with light and shadow, cool and warm! Not anywhere on the panel. First the foundation, then some sculpting... working more with the individual planes of the painting.
See you soon,
08-07-2003, 06:36 AM
This is coming along beautifully! I'm a visual learner. If I read about it, I really don't understand what I have read. If I can see it and read about it at the same time, then the process makes sense. That is the reason that this kind of close up, step by step demonstration is so valuable to folks like me. I imagine there are a lot of others out there that are getting the same boost from your work in progress.
08-07-2003, 07:00 AM
I'm with you, Mellie. I'm much more visual.
Matt, I like how you are saying what is going on in your head, too. Your words make you seem humble, not lofty, about your abilities. It makes it seem we are all connected as artists, regardless of how experienced/inexperienced we are, and that connection is what I feel makes this site work. I know this is incredibly corny. So be it.
I say it's a good thing you weren't wearing a tux shirt, btw.
This should definitely be a Hall of Famer as far as teaching goes. Ok, sharing goes. I can understand it, and it doesn't seem impossible.
08-07-2003, 07:14 AM
Thanks Mellie! (With such a beautiful name... - Melody.)
And you too Grasshopper!! You are sure right about the tux shirt!
Nah.. this was just your average Armani T-shirt, at 85$...;)
Okay.. the background. I continued to fill in the background with my knife. I used a mixture of Tit. white, Raw umber and Ultramarine blue. Not much to say or add to this... just a matter of covering the panel. I try to not think too much on how my knife travels around the panel, looking for that random feel.
Look! Do you see how all the sudden the face seem less focused tan before applying the background? That's because I have a stronger value in the background than in the face. That's totally okay for now...
A little something on edges.
I', not sure if this is correct thinking, but it seems to work for me: I try to keep my edges fairly sharp and crisp when they lay next to the direction of the light source. In this case, her right-hand side, our left. This will help the face come out from the background, a sharp edge and a difference in value. On the other side, I let the edge and background come together, thus making that side recede. I hope it works.
Notice that little spot of light I kept on her left side of the neck. I keep that, and let the edge be kind of sharp to create some interest and excitement. Maybe in real life, that spot couldn't be there, but this is not for real...
So I'll continue with my foundation work, fill in the hair and the jacket, in the same manner as everything else. Then finally, I get to fine-tune the lot!
08-07-2003, 07:42 AM
This is so exciting to watch, Matt! I like that little light on the left side of her neck, incidentally. I love your explanations - totally understandable/followable (is that a word?). I don't mean to go on and on but this really is a thrill. It's a virtual gold mine.
08-07-2003, 07:49 AM
Coming along nicely Matt! I am enjoying being in your mind!!!
BTW... have you thought of a name for "her" yet?... looks like a Kristiana to me.
08-07-2003, 09:11 AM
I really enjoy this thread as it is as if I was next to a master and I was the apprentise. I am sure it will save me lots of time in my learning curve. Matt your techniques are varied from what I have in mind but the process is simular and answers a lot a questions that would have come up as I work.
Thanks for saving me much frustration!!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
08-07-2003, 09:13 AM
LOL Matt. Well, I think everyone has given you every reason why this should be in the HOF. This is very visual, very educational, your reasoning is wonderful...............you're explaining everything beautifully. Everyone is rating your thread as being helpful (that's another thing Mods look at when deciding, but not necessarily the precursor) Would be nice to come back to, and if it is something that will benefit anyone in the future, well then it should be in the HOF! ;)
So, please don't stop :) I love the expression you've captured in her, kind of a mischevous appearance she has. Going to be another beautiful painting !!!
08-07-2003, 09:18 AM
You're sweet Tina...
And stop? No no... I think I owe it to everyone to take this to the end, no matter where that might be.
My otherwise perfect and beautiful girlfriend, whom I love very much, took the camera away from me!!!! She and William went to the stables to go visit some horses. I guess I forgive her.
But as I'm writing this, I'm blocking in the hair.
She's really starting to come alive now.
08-07-2003, 09:24 AM
Oh Matt, you KNOW you forgive her, especially when she comes back with great photos of Mr. William with the horses! :D
08-07-2003, 09:50 AM
So I'll just have to wait and see about the skin!!!!:)
What a treat it is to switch on my pc and know there will be more from you and your WIP .
We can wait a bit to see the hair go on - photos of your children are always so precious!!! How is little William?? Give him a hug from me - one of his many 'virtual' aunties on WC!
08-07-2003, 10:30 AM
If the opinion of an ex-teacher means anything to you, I'd say you are doing a simply magnificent job of teaching on this portrait thread.
Your step-by-step instruction is not only valuable to those who are beginning in oils, but also to those of us who are gaining from seeing your unique approach and might choose to apply some of your techniques to our own methods.
Also, I'm finding this thread rather an inspiration to try some techniques which I would normally not have tried.
Thank you, Matt for this very, very informative thread.
Matt, this is a very valuable lesson. I'm following closely, and already feel I'm learning so much from your example. Thanks so much for doing this!
08-07-2003, 10:37 AM
- and thanks Bill, - your opinion are always highly appreciated!
I'll continue this WIP in an hour or so.
08-07-2003, 12:11 PM
I didn't realize that yellow ocher was semi-transparent, that's why i've been having so many problems with it. I ordered the gold ocher, thank you. I knew that painting was by William Bouguereau last week but didn't change the site yet. I have some new paintings and I'll update it when I put them in. You know your art history too, i'm glad you recognized it. You didn't say if you liked the Rembrandt. My vote is to use the brushes of course but I don't think your counting votes. I'm anxious to see the color of the sweater, but you still have more developing to do.
08-07-2003, 12:21 PM
If you noticed my patron of music had a red dress that went well with that background, might be that your red sweater will fit now. or reverse it and have the blouse red and the sweater white. Just thinking here.
08-07-2003, 12:38 PM
painterbert - I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner to your pm, but I guess this will do? I did look at your Rembrandt, but really can't say anything about it. The flash from the camera kind of screwed things up huh?
About the color of my girls clothes... I have decided to paint her jacket in a green color... though the dim light will make it look dark brown with some green accents in it. That will look good with the white shirt and dark background.
As for brushed vs. knifes.. well this is my first time painting with a knife, so I'm a far more pro-brush kind of guy. But must always challenge oneself in arts... why stay at the same point and wonder about things in the horizon, when you can go there and find out!?
08-07-2003, 12:54 PM
hence the reason for this wip. go for it!
08-07-2003, 01:15 PM
I am enjoying and learning so much from your WIP, especially from your thouguts along the way. I agree with everyone here that, whether you realize it or not you are an excellent teacher. A godsend for us: learners.
Thank for being so generous.
clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
08-07-2003, 01:33 PM
Welcome to WC! Lucía! You'll love this place.
As for the hair... no complex thinking here... a brighter value at the left side, a darker at the right.
The only 'rule' to stick to is of course to let your brush-stroke/knife lines follow the hair's direction. This girl has her hair pulled back in a pony tail, which is kind of hard to paint, cause there's no topography to find in the structure... just flat. So light vs. dark was the only aid I had.
Eventually, I'll let the (our) right side of her hair blend somewhat into the background.
I'm thinking about letting some of that pony tail come visible behind her neck, her left side, just over that spot of light. Again, nothing sure yet.
I'll go to work wit the sweater/jacket now.
DON'T HESITATE TO ASK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
08-07-2003, 01:34 PM
On another thread the question was asked about how do we know when a painting is finished... some good ideas were given... which could be used at every stage of creating a painting.
Matt, to me, I'm only assuming, though it seems that you have abandoned the drawing way back when you applied it to the panel... from the stage you are at in the painting my thoughts are your painting is calling out for some 'looking'. A mirror is a good handy tool, as is an image program on the computer - to help 'see' things in a different, detached from the act of painting, view.
Some people will argue that painting and drawing can not co-exist while working...
In my view the facial features on the head do not sit in the position the skull is facing. The body posture does not seem to work with the neck and head position. I moved and edited only a bit here (the facial features could have been moved more than I did here):
Some well thought out placements of light will bring the shape of the forehead going into the hair and around to the back of the head into it's full form.
Thank you for posting your WIP
08-07-2003, 01:44 PM
Linoxyn!! - What an honor to have you commenting this work! Thanks a lot.
Well, let's see.... the drawing is of course a part of history, but did you see the same "errors" back then? Or is it my painting that messed it up?
Did you tilt the head in the image you posted? I must admit it looks better this way... but I see way to redo this without totally destroying it.
I'll have your light ideas in mind when I come to that stage. Frankly... i can't wait for it, to start modeling the face, build up a depth and presence...
I would love if you could drop by again some time and give me your thoughts... if you have the will and time for it?
08-07-2003, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Matt V
... why stay at the same point and wonder about things in the horizon, when you can go there and find out!?
Excellent quote!... May have to quote you on that one some time Matt!
08-07-2003, 02:33 PM
I've been sitting in front of my easel for a while now, thinking about what Linoxyn said. I've decided to have a closer look at the throat/neck. As it is now, the head looks as if it's placed upon a throat, not a part of it. And also, the lines making her shoulders need some rendering, more close to the original drawing.
It's good to take this kind of time-out once in a while, to slow yourself down... breathe... nothing is lost because you need to rework something, but something is learned right???
Back to work.
08-07-2003, 02:36 PM
- you have a good time now!!
Who will you be? - Major General Heth, or maybe Buford, or why not General Lee?
Take care, come back soon.
08-07-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by Matt V
Well, let's see.... the drawing is of course a part of history, but did you see the same "errors" back then? Or is it my painting that messed it up?
Did you tilt the head in the image you posted? I must admit it looks better this way... but I see way to redo this without totally destroying it.
Matt, although there was distortion in the initial drawing it was fine as long as you feel you could pull and push the form till it was right... often the line drawing tends to only place the items with little regard to form at that stage. When paint goes on and the play of values and colours happen form does some commanding or sometimes condemning things.
You could have kept the original direction of the head you had going (with a few corrections in the paint) but your paint took it in another direction. If you pay strong attention to what you put down in paint it can lead you in the right direction... but if no answers are coming from the work in front of you then go back to the reference source, or a facsimile of it.
In the face I just copied the whole of the facial features - the eyes, nose, and mouth and moved them together up a bit and to the right with no tilting of anything. There were a few touches I added here and there to clean up the move.
Remember that when Master paintings are checked for authorship x-rays often reveal moved, corrected, replaced, and hidden forms... why not join them :)
08-07-2003, 03:20 PM
Again, thanks for taking your time.
Remember that when Master paintings are checked for authorship x-rays often reveal moved, corrected, replaced, and hidden forms... why not join them
I though about that too! But isn't there a pretty steep membership-fee for that particular club? And i heard they have a waiting list, - a couple of hundred years, and finally of course, you have to be dead to join. Bummer.
To be serious for a while, I'm not that afraid of getting some dirt on my fingers, so I might rework the structure, or manipulate it with pulling and pushing paint.
(By the way, - I haven't seen anything from you in a while... is everything okay?)
08-07-2003, 05:38 PM
Before calling it a day, I re-did the throat/neck.
What this mean exactly is pretty clear if you compare this picture with an old one. I looked over the areas where the neck/throat is attached to the torso. In this procedure, I temporarily lost my light spot on her left side... but I'll add a new later!!:)
Not much work done today, because me new camera decided to give me problems. The batteries will deplete in a few seconds after inserting them. (?) I'll be talking to HP support tomorrow.
Good night to you all.
08-07-2003, 06:15 PM
This is very interesting, and it's coming along very nicely.
Thanks for sharing your expertise and your time. :)
08-07-2003, 06:25 PM
Matt, I know that's one drawback of my camera. If I use it a lot, I go through many batteries!! More than a regular camera, that's for sure!! And digital camera batteries are pricey.
08-08-2003, 03:21 AM
Hi Tracy, - thanks!
And Tina... I just talked to the support guys, and they told me to send it back, so I would get a new.
The thing is, this could take a week or something! I just hope that you guys will excuse me IF I disappear for a while.
Anyway, I'm still able to take some pictures, if I'm fast - otherwise "BATTERIES DEPLETED"! I already hate that line.
Before I go to work this gorgeous day, I thought I'd show you the state of the panel. I'll work on the sweater today.
Talk to you soon.
08-08-2003, 04:27 AM
Last night, before I went to bed, I did some reading. In my bookshelf, I have several thousand sources of inspiration, images of paintings, done by masters of any era.
I do this a lot, almost every night. And maybe, last night did something to me. As I sat down to begin working on the sweater something struck me. - The background is far too busy, too intense and takes away too much of that focus that should belong to the girl and her eyes.
So I made a decision: to calm it down. I still want that rough, thick and exciting texture, but not everywhere. The effect gets kind of lost when its applied everywhere.
So, I'll apply of paint on the background before I go to work on the sweater. This is good for another reason as well; now I can work the two together in a more satisfying way, having the edges just a I want them. Again, I want a part of the forground (sweater) to sink in, into the abyss of the background.
Maybe this will turn out to look too high in contrast, - a calm, flat background, - and an impasto thick intense foreground?
It should work just fine.
Here's the palette for this job:
1) Raw Umber
2) Charcoal Black
3) Home cooked Wax medium
(50% beeswax, 25% linseed oil, 25 % turpentine)
I mixed up a pretty fluid pile of color, used a filbert brush #11 and started to cover the background using evenly applied paint, relatively thin. I will go over this background once again, with another glaze to make it wonderfully deep.
After five minutes of work:
As you can see in the detail shot below, I let the background glaze work it's way in the hair as well.
I now lost that effect I described earlier in this thread, when the background color helps to create depth in the shadows of the face. But have no fear, - I'll fix that later.
That's it for now.
08-08-2003, 06:06 AM
this is really interesting!!! And when you notice things you don't like and adjust them it is also a lesson for me in how to do that!!! rather than getting discouraged and giving up if it doesn't turn out fine straight away!!
Also Thanks to Linoxyn for contributing and pointing out things that we just didn't see!!!!
sorry about the camera!! Hope you get a replacement soon - i have been without mine for a month :mad:
08-08-2003, 08:00 AM
I had come up with this idea; a green sweater, which due to the light, or lack of light, would be dark, almost more brownish than green. I wanted certain areas of the sweater to show the viewer that it actually is green, and I also wanted the right side of the sweater to blend in in the background.
So, with a palette of:
1) Terre Verte
2) Burnt Umber
3) Raw Umber
(The Titanium white is left from the earlier step... not used in this one.)
no medium plus my knife,
I went to work.
First of all, I tried to figure out where some natural folds could be in the fabric, and then used the lightest of my three values for this sweater, to mark the brightest parts in. So I used what paint I had left on my brush from earlier on to mark some folds.
I constantly ask myself: Where is the light? And then try to capture my answers.
This step is not the final one for the sweater, I want to build up the texture and basic colors and values.
As you can see, I raised the V-shape of the sweater a few inches because thought it laid to close to the bottom of the panel. This is more harmonic.
I now added more brown and Raw umber to the mixture, and continued. This time I asked myself, where will there not be any light? And those areas I saved for the third and final value.
At this stage, the sweater appear to be too black, and dull. But that's not really the case. In life, it's a bit more green and 'alive''.
The next step will be to unify the background even more with the sweater. I started out by roughening up the edges, simply by moving the tip of my clean knife in circles along the edge.
I'll let the background rest for a while, to let it 'sit'. Later tonight I'll continue to unify these two areas, by glazing and using a brush. I think.
08-08-2003, 01:58 PM
I gave out the wrong proportions to my home-cooked wax medium.
It should be:
50% linseed or stand oil
08-08-2003, 02:15 PM
Matt, thanks for correcting the proportions, I think... Uh, what is it for? Resist?
08-08-2003, 02:28 PM
Well it's the only medium I ever use. If only to turn the paint more creamy, or to create thin paint for glaze... it does the trick.
It dries pretty fast and gives a matte look for the finish.
08-08-2003, 03:03 PM
Ohhhh, I see (I think). I'm so new at this stuff, and there is soooo much to learn. I need a nap; I'm a little overwhelmed. (I won't give up, I love this art life...)
08-08-2003, 03:36 PM
I was gone for a day, I took the grandchildren camping on the beach.
I can't imagine how you missed on the drawing, glad there was someone good enough to catch it. I'll go back and try to understand what happened later. Maybe he could look at my Jocelyn in Cathleen's portrait challenge and give me a couple pointers because I messed it up a bit. Very nice background Matt! When will the face get some work?
08-08-2003, 05:41 PM
Adding to the sweater.
The previous layer was now dry enough for me to work with. I applied some irregular color, adding yellow ocher and more Terre verte to my palette.
The flash kind of messed this one up, but you can see approximately what I have done. The paint is applied thick thick thick...
I'm having some problems with the shirt benieth... how it should be cut.
Any thoughts on that?
Well, good night from me.
08-08-2003, 06:44 PM
Hi Matt, I would say "V" it, or take it straight across like a dickie. I'm sure the angle wouldn't be so extreme that you would see it on the sides since you have the outer shirt at it's present angle. Just my thoughts. It's looking fantastic!!!!!
08-09-2003, 03:35 AM
- you are right.
It looks weird as it is, and needs to be changed.
I'm going to set up Jenny, wearing what I think looks good, use her as a complementary model for this one.
I'll rework the entire sweater, chest part.
Thanks for your input my dearest!
Oh.. and someone else decided to take over this morning:
08-09-2003, 03:50 AM
Kid's got talent! ;)
08-09-2003, 06:05 AM
Yup, that's right... and remember who's son he is now! It must be my genes...
About the painting. I now decided to change the sweater, - period! I asked my girlfriend to pose in a couple of sweaters, and now I have to decide on which, - light blue or gray with a lot of patterns in it.
Well, I used a knife to scrape of most of the paint from last night, so she looks kind of strange now. But I am in no hurry, -I will not continue with the face until I'm completely satisfied with the sweater and background. That's just the way it is.
Light blue might be really nice...
See you soon.
08-09-2003, 08:47 AM
Wow... I though I had something going on here... planned a new color and look for the sweater.
Everything started just fine, did a drawing on the panel using chalk, mixed up some nice blue colors, and began work.
I applied some mid-blue all over the sweater, went for a glass of coke. As I walk back into the room as saw it; I had lost the painting!!!! That's what I call the revelation you have when you realize this is not what you planned to do. The painting is slipping by your fingers.
In this panic I failed to stay calm, and to document everything, so no images to show from that awful blue I'm afraid.
I mixed up some greens again, and re-did what I originally did. But this time I actually looked at my drawings to keep it close to my idea.
She came to more in dark than what I thought from the beginning. More of a stong contrast between dark and light. Anyway.. the result after three rounds of chaos:
It's not ruined... not by far. But this was one detour let me tell you. Now I have to calm down a bit...
08-09-2003, 03:43 PM
What a sweet photo of William!!!!
and Poor poor Matt - how hard you have to work and how scarey it is sometimes!!!
08-09-2003, 04:32 PM
Sweet William's going to be like Daddy :) How adorable Matt!!!
08-09-2003, 05:12 PM
(And Tina, did you notice how awesome the entire composition (may be wrong word... not sure) of that precious photo of Little Will was? I just love it. I think he should actually paint that some day too! )
hehe.. Matt hope you don't hate it when folks talk about ya right in front of you. :D I'm just so thoroughly enjoying this WIP, and am learning so much from you future (or maybe even present) Master! Thank you again. And, Those really were my thoughts when I saw your photo of him.
08-09-2003, 05:33 PM
And thanks for your replies.
I don't have much to say now, or to add about my WIP. But in some way, this thread has become like a diary or something, where maybe everything I say is not directly associated with the painting. Some of you might thing that's wrong of me, and some of you might thinks it's okay. But I do because it makes me feel good.
This night we had some friends over for a barbecue, some delicious red wine from Chile, and great conversation. This was what I needed. Earlier today, I honestly thought I'd start all over, to trash this one. I guess I was so fed up with it, and perhaps had too much of a pressure on me, placed there by myself.
It takes time to finish a painting, as it should. Even the great master of the past and present, who whips up a masterpiece portrait in an hour had to study, had to learn, had to make mistakes in order to get to that point.
This is a lesson for me, and a great one I might add.
So, back to the WIP:
I placed my favorite armchair a few yards away from the panel, sat down and watched. I saw that the sweater is okay... not "perfect", but then again: what is "perfect"? I think that the perfect doesn't exist.
Tomorrow I'm going to paint the face, the throat and the hair, most likely in one sitting.
After that I'm going to go over the entire panel with some glazes for depth. And then, hopefully, I'll have a portrait that looks kind of good, but I know for sure I will have had a great experience doing it, no matter the outcome.
So "Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go"
(Bam ba bam ba baaaa...)
My name's Matt, and I love to paint.
08-09-2003, 09:06 PM
I want some red wine from Chile :( .....
Matt, you are so right, nothing in this world is perfect. I can't have some of that red wine!
As far as your painting, I think you've done beautifully with it. It's so easy to get frustrated, and that's when we need to walk away from it for a day or two. I think you would regret trashing it myself, and I'm glad that you are moving on with it. No pressures from me my friend, as I have been there many times myself, and we will be glad to wait for you :)
08-10-2003, 06:31 AM
Why Tina dearest... if you want wine from Chile, just come to Sweden! I have some great bottles in the cellar waiting for you.
Maybe some cheese to go with that?
So, finally, applying some flesh to the poor lady.
I set up a basic skin palette, not knowing what I would need:
1) Titanium White
2) Yellow Ocher
5) Ultramarine Blue
6) Burnt Umber
7) Ivory Black (which I already know won't use..)
A pile of wax medium.
And a filbert brush nr 5
I start by mixing up a light color, for the throat (I'll finish that before I head for the face), made with white, ocher and a small touch of Vermilion and blue. (Just to tone it down)
Then, as always, I search for areas that would be hit by light and place my strokes there;
You can already see the difference this layer will do. It's so much more rich in value and contrast.
I then continue with the same pile of color, but adding a bit of everything really, some more ocher, a tad more blue, some umber and so on. I find my greens by mixing yellow ocher with blue and umber.
For extra warmth and life, I take some pure Vermilion or/and crimson, place a little touch of it on the chest and work it in with the brush.
Almost finished, "almost because there's still some paint to be added, remodeled and so on. I try to keep it in a controlled randomness so to speak.
At the right side of the throat I work in some of the same color found in the background and the sweater, as reflections from those areas.
In the detail below, I hope you can see the reason for my under painting done with a knife. Even though, I in this layer work in a pretty normal consistency, not too thick or thin, the texture is rough, - as I wanted it to be.
But before heading on, I can't stop thinking about the correct comments by Linoxyn... and it's kind of hard to go on building, when you know the foundation is not properly done... I might rework the facial features some...
Yes... I'll do so. It won't be a huge job... - I'll just use some charcoal to fill in the correct lines and go ahead with my paint. It's not the ideal progression, but it's the right thing to do.
See you soon.
08-10-2003, 07:14 AM
I'd like to introduce you all to a dear friend of mine... - Mrs. Hannibal Lector:
This looks really awful, I know... but there's really no reason for panic today as well as yesterday. I used a charcoal pen and paint to find the right placements... I am still trying to do that.
But it is all under control.
I noticed that the head was placed a bit too high, and the distance between mouth and chin was far too short.
See you soon again.
08-10-2003, 01:14 PM
Matt, Like so many others, I've been following this thread with a great deal of interest. Because of your example, I'm seriously considering trying the knife for painting for the first time. I just wanted to say that however you choose to deal with the challenges of this painting, you've been and will continue to be incredible. I can relate to the challenges of missing stuff (I didn't catch what Linoxyn pointed out, either) and changing my mind in midstream. It's very generous of you to share your experiences and I thank you for sharing.
08-10-2003, 03:52 PM
Well, as I stated from the beginning, this is not a banana-split, ready to go, this is more like a non ripe banana, with it's skin still on.
Phew... I put in a lot of hours today on my panel. So many questions with unpleasant answers. I'm doing a total make-over, changing the size of the figure, the placement, the sweater, the everything... not because I have to though... it's because I want to. I have made up my mind and will paint this girl's portrait.
In a way, this is a very honest and great WIP, because it shows every step of the way... not only the good ones. It's not a DEMO!!!! A documentation of an artist working on a portrait, that's it. And the artist happens to me.
I won't post any images of the currant state... it wouldn't help anyone... but take my word for it, - it's... it's... uuhh... it's a mess. But she's still there, under all my scrapings and colors.... she's waiting to be born.
If a get a few more hours done before I hit the sack, I may be able to show you something tomorrow.
08-10-2003, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by Matt V
In a way, this is a very honest and great WIP, because it shows every step of the way... not only the good ones. It's not a DEMO!!!! A documentation of an artist working on a portrait, that's it. And the artist happens to me.//matt
LOL Matt, She's still no Hannibal in my eyes, but the mere presence of a beautiful girl waiting to exist! Extraordinary!! And you are so right, it is a very honest WIP, and brave, and dignifying. You are a wonderful artist, blooming more every day. I have so much respect for you and your work, more than you probably realize! We all run into these problems along the way, I'm so glad that you have the dignity and confidence to share it ALL with us :) I have no doubt that you will work through it and share your knowledge along the way with us, so that when we run into these problems, we will have something to look back on, to rationalize our next move with, to connect with, and to grow with.
You are simply amazing in my book ;) !!
The next time I'm in Sweden, I DO want some of that wine, LOL
I was considering doing a painting - a portrait in oil and i have only ever done one and even that was on greyscale! :rolleyes:
Someone suggested that i take a look here at your thread.
I am speechless. You really are a master at this sort of thing Matt.
This painting, depsite not finished reminds me of something rembrandt would paint! I love it!
Thanks soo much for showing us all here how you do it, step by step! Just what I needed to see anyway.
Keep us all posted here!
one question.. about the wax..
do you just mix it in with your paints to get the smooth-matte finish?
08-11-2003, 02:41 AM
Oh Tina... another kiss on the cheek on ya!!
And Ciarrai, interesting thing that you brought up Rembrandt, cause I blame him for my wrong steps in this one. You see, unconsciously I also thought about the Dutch master, and somehow leaned toward a Rembrandt-like feel of the painting... when this never the case from the beginning. I do feel it's so important to finish your paintings mentally before doing any real physical work, and TO ALWAYS STICK TO THE PLAN!!!
I did not do that here. So, I could change my plans and go for Rembrandt... but I haven't thought about the various problems in that, and therefor have no solutions. No, I'm heading back to the original idea. (Where the sweater was red!:p )
Check back again tonight, as I think there will be some pics' here.
Oh and Tina... make that a thousand ones.
08-11-2003, 04:18 AM
I forgot to tell you.. yes, I do my blending first, with a knife on my palette, and then add some wax medium to reach the desired quality of the paint.
Here's a peek of where I am, it's a detail of the area where the throat meets the sweater. As you can see... I altered pretty much everything. Also notice the rough texture of the panel... - cool right? The result of a lot of paint, and a total abuse of the surface with a knife!
08-11-2003, 09:17 AM
So, I thought I'd try to sum up what I have been doing for ten hours of work... ten hours, with the pauses excluded! (To me that's a lot!!!)
First of all, I went back to the drawings, reminding myself of what it was I was going to paint. Then, I cleaned the surface of the painting with some oil and turps, thus removing any wet paint. I covered the hair and the sweater with an opaque mix of ocher and viridian... just to get rid of those reminding failures. I used charcoal and chalk to re-draw the face... the placements were bad, not awful, but bad enough. I took that influence of Rembrandt, packed it in a bag and threw it in the garbage. I needed a clear mind and to focus on my original idea, which was a girl in a red sweater. The dominant colors would be greens and reds.
So why or earth had I painted a dark brown background??? Beats me...
On with the knife! Sanding with some pretty medium fine paper and scrubbing with a sponge, drenched in soap (!).
I then wiped it completely dry, poured a few drops of linseed oil onto the surface and rubbed that in.
That's pretty much that. I then refined my drawings.
After I was satisfied with my new drawings I went to work with the background, to "frame" the girl in the new corrected outlines. This would get me along way by doing something quite fast and easy, which was welcome at this stage.
The background was painted in using a large filbert brush, using greens made up with ocher and ultramarine blue, adding Terre Verte and Burnt Umber. I already knew I wanted to do a glaze over these colors, so I kept the brightest whites kind of bright, to carry the glazed layer in a desirable way. The glaze will be an earthy green/brown.
I set up my flesh palette, the same as somewhere in a previous post. Every where the face turned into shadow, or turned against the background I added the same mixture as used for the background, this to increase the appearance of depth. The lips still look a bit to... to "placed". They should be more of a part of the face rather than external pieces just placed on the mouth.
And she has (I think) too much red in her face at this stage.
The hair is just blocked in using Burnt Umber and Cadmium red.
I think I got the essence pretty right here... I wanted that look of her as if though she was thinking of something naughty, whilst being looked at. As if she on the outside was this perfect super nice young girl, only she has a beginner-devil inside of her. She's wondering if she would have the guts to do that mischief she's thinking about. Not like she is planning an act of terrorism, more like adding 25 cubes of sugar in her best friends cup of tea or something. You figure it out!
Also, - I would love to get some comments on the whole of the painting at Th's stage. Do you agree on my thoughts on the red for example?
As it looks this minute:
08-11-2003, 10:19 AM
Matt, all i can say it´s how much I admire you, and that I agree with all that Tina said.:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
08-11-2003, 11:59 AM
Glazing the background:
I use some Asphaltum, from Rembrandt for this. It's a transparent brown with a touch of green in it, and will be all I need for the glaze.
So, I mix the color with some Liquin (W&N), to this consistency:
Here I did half of the background, so you can see what difference it makes.
08-11-2003, 12:08 PM
AMAZING MATT! Just amazing!
what Dudley said! :D
Matt, one of the things I notice about this is her solidity. She looks touchable! Well, that and so many other wonderful things.. but you make your portraits breathe life! Add me to the growing list of people who are appreciating this so much!
08-11-2003, 03:07 PM
It's going to turn out great !
08-11-2003, 03:34 PM
gone only 4 days to class reunion and what do I find....so MUCH information, changes...:D
...I LOVE your thought process...THANKS so much for sharing it with us..."THE MIND OF THE MASTER"---now you must write the book as well...I am thinking of Robert Henri's Art Spirit or Hawthorne on Painting-- :D
So we have a naughty girl here...nope, mischievous for sure...looking wonderful--- bet she's glad to have her mud pack off and her new glowing skin...when you find time please PM me the Bruin70 photo...:)
08-11-2003, 04:35 PM
It's an hour 'till midnight here in Sweden right now. I'm sitting in front of the ol' easel again, just finished a cup of chocolate. Time for my nightly pondering about the painting.
But this time, the feeling of needed change, or emergency alternations didn't show up. Instead, I now see the end of the tunnel, and yes, - there is a light there. Unconsciously, this feeling must have stayed with me the entire day, - for the first time for almost a week now I'm beginning to think about projects to come. That's a great feeling.. to know you still have the desire for creating, a desire that will feed your soul with the best of everything. To create... - it's just so beautiful.
Back to the lady, I do realize I have to work on some things here and there, but those are all minor. I'll do her hair and sweater tomorrow, and go over some fine adjustments and maybe that will be it? I could also find that I need a glaze or two, which would keep this WIP running a day longer.
I like her, and I think that she likes me.
I like her too! and if i had any money, i'd ask you to sell this to me! :)
Matt, I have only been watching for two days and I am amused with your talents. I love the way you re-worked the entire painting.. I'm just.. speechless at the patience you must have to do this!
It's so wonderful. May I ask.. how long have you been painting portraits for??
08-11-2003, 08:03 PM
ooooooohooooo!! ;) :o
WOW...........look at those changes!!! The red sweater makes a beautiful, distinguishable difference Matt, and really brings out those skin tones too. Doesnt' it feel good when you get to this point!! How the road just magically appears before you? This is just outstanding!!!
08-11-2003, 08:04 PM
Matt, I've been watching and enjoying! Just wanted to say, wonderful improvments with your second version here! And I think the red on the face will look much more in tune with the piece once the sweater is painted.
08-12-2003, 03:29 AM
Working on the sweater:
I mix up Cadmium red deep with some Burnt Umber and go to work. The paint is pretty fluid in consistency and the brush is fully loaded, with one exception that is. When I do the edges on the right side, I take a cloth and wipe my brush dry from paint, then the amount of paint left on the brush is sufficient for my edge work. I lightly drag the brush over the edge between sweater and background. Look:
Up close it may be hard to accept this mess, but from a distance it'll do wonders for that slightly out of focus feel.
08-12-2003, 03:52 AM
Matt this is looking amazing!!! well done - hope to see the finished version soon!!
08-12-2003, 04:20 AM
How soon is now?
Well not entirely finished, some glazing left... but pretty much done. The sweater needs to be toned down a bit, therefor I'll glaze it.
The latest image, snapped ten minutes ago:
Phew... what a journey.
08-12-2003, 07:26 AM
I'm a little embarrassed that I may sound sentimental and kinda silly with what I'm going to say but I'm saying it anyway because you need to hear it. Later on I will comment about the painting itself. Forgive me for going on and on; I tried to shorten it but couldn't...
Millions of words fly through my head about this painting, the process you shared - everything about this - very few are able to make it out "there" freely. Your willingness to be humble in front of us all about your thoughts and feelings on and during this project have been just as useful and meaningful as following the work itself. I thought having doubts, not being sure of what I was doing, being frustrated, etc., were about me and I've had a tendency to personalize it. You've helped reinforce this commitment I made to myself months ago that I would be fairer to myself, not give up - not give in - that the desire to do this is a gift, that the modicum of talent/skill I have is a gift that I need to continue to tap into and appreciate, and really enjoy it. I am very very fortunate to have this. We all are here. I see so many people with the ability to be wonderful chefs, wonderful artists - all kinds of things - and they take it so for granted, getting so full of themselves... I used to work for 5 yrs. w/profoundly retarded/multi-handicapped children and since then I've put these other things in their proper perspective: They are indeed important and essential, but if you get too full of yourelf about them, too 'important" because of what you are able to do, you miss the boat entirely. I believe you lose the essence of the whole thing. Each day that I paint, or even think of painting or art fills me with gratitude and I am deeply amazed that I desire to do it - and can do it. I am thankful. Each day is another day that I can try. That's what you are reinforcing for me with all you've contributed here. Life is beautiful. Thank you, Matt.
08-12-2003, 10:32 AM
I just wanted to say that I am very grateful that you shared this journey with us; it was wonderful to see the creative process of someone who has so much talent. I think what helped me the most is the courage you have being so close to finishing the piece and realizing you are not 100% happy with it and basically starting over. Even while getting so many positive responses from people on WC you did what was needed to satisfy yourself, the artist. To me, that’s what turns a good artist into a Great Artist.
08-12-2003, 11:21 AM
This is a great thread Matt...you have a good method of teaching!
Your work is so much better for the painterly effect. I must add you are brave to tackle the face with a knife. Thanks for sharing!
08-12-2003, 12:13 PM
YOU are incredible! Thank you for this remarkable journey through this truly stunning painting...:)
only you could take a face from TV, draw it so superbly, then paint her a few differerent times til you got exactly what you wanted......and the THOUGHT process that went with the painting progress...we are so lucky for your extreme generosity! :D
Congrats on this Hall of Fame thread!!
08-12-2003, 12:33 PM
I agree with all the above !
08-12-2003, 01:43 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Splendid job on this Matt!! Wow, the work in her face is great. She has the cutest expression.
Thank you for the opportunity to walk the path with you ;)
08-12-2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Matt the Great One :D
How soon is now?
Do I notice a Morrissey reference?:)
Anyway, great job the painting is truly stunning, and thank you for sharing this with us!:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Förresten, var i "Södra Sverige" bor du? Själv i Jkpg.
08-12-2003, 02:06 PM
Thanks you so much all!! But as I said, there's still some details to be fixed... which could turn out to be a complete re-work!;)
Krasnojarsk, - you deserve a cookie for that! How observant of you!!
I live in Helsingborg, though I was born, and lived all my life in Stockholm (until 3 years ago).
I'll write a little summary on this experience tomorrow.
yes thank you very much for sharing Mavin it's nice to know that even a great like you doesn't just whip em out..you put in a lot of thought and it can still be a struggle...I guess I gotta try one out now :)
BTW...anybody know about copyright laws dealing with painting a sketch you did of a movie character ??
08-12-2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Matt V
there's still some details to be fixed... which could turn out to be a complete re-work!;)
LOL..well before you do that, you can mail me this one as is & start a fresh one! LOL
08-12-2003, 03:13 PM
I also gave that some thoughts... the copyright thingy. But this is a portrait of a girl from a movie I did in pencil. I then decided to do it as an oil painting, redid my sketching, - based o my first one, and got to work.
I would doubt you would see any resemblance between the movie still and my painting, non other than the colors of her clothes. I would say it was a source of inspiration, but not something I copied.
Then again what big-time movie attorneys will think is a different question.
Just now, I added the highlights to the painting, the only time I use pure white. I keep away from Lead based whites in this stage, for this reason:
I dip my index finger in some Titanium white,
place it in the area that needs some light,
and circle my finger, or draw it in the direction I want the light to travel.
Not for a major difference in this case, but yet so subtle and important.
I also brightened up her right cheek, worked some more on the eyes... and then.. by god, then I SIGNED IT!!!!! Which to me means it's done!!!!!!!!!!
It's too dark in my apartment right now, but I'll post the finished version tomorrow!!!!
Thank you all so very very very very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are so great, everyone of you!
08-12-2003, 03:27 PM
That's a great technique!:)
Oh oh, Hbg you say...I left Helsingborg this morning at 10...beautiful city!:) Went biking on Ven too...;)
Keep up the great work!:)
PS. You do look a bit like Morrissey, has anyone ever pointed that out to you? ;) DS.
08-12-2003, 04:21 PM
Well Done Matt!!!
Thank you so much for sharing your struggle and triumph with us. It has been a wonderful experience. Its a lovely lovely painting - and tomorrow we will see it finished!!!! Congratulations on this thread getting its deserved place in the Hall of Fame!
When's the next one going to be???:D ;) :D
08-12-2003, 08:52 PM
You did a wonderful job of sharing your experience w/ us! Thank you so much. . .like Grasshopper, I thought I was the only one who struggled! I cannot believe the patience that you put into this, and that in the end, you have a beautiful painting! ( I was away for a few days and have just spent over an hour looking at all the progress!) I don't know how you spent 10 hours working on her w/out wanting to throw the thing out your window. I"m glad she ended up more alive-like, less classical Rembrandt. Her skin and expression are fresh.
When you refer to ocher do you mean yellow ochre or gold? I can't wait to see the final.. with your signature included!! I've learned so much; thanks again.
08-13-2003, 02:57 AM
To me, the process of creating art, is not a process of perfection. For many years, I had my aims set at perfection, thinking this was something I would achieve.
But I didn't.
And I never will.
And I never want to.
It's a process of thinking, making decisions, both right and wrong, to take chances, to succeed and to fail. To help us in this process we have the knowledge we gained through reading books, listening to other artists, attending classes and the natural- given at birth- possibility to feel something in our guts. One must trust your guts, your heart and your mind in order to stay authentic to yourself. No matter what it is you want to paint, as long it's totally honest to yourself and though through, it will be "yours".
Rules are important too. As we all know there are hundreds of rules you should follow in your quest for creating in oil paints. I say should, and not must, because they are more general guidelines then absolute rules. Sometimes, to stay authentic, to set your mind free could mean breaking the rules. Well fine! Go ahead! Just as we realize that following our heart may always be authentic, but will not always lead to the greatest result. But guess what, - that's human!
The only person who should be important enough for you to make changes in your art, to alter your gut feeling about something is you, - you and no one else. If somebody comes along, criticizing your work, he or she is of course welcome to, they may even have a point. But it's just another human beings opinion, not half as important as your own!
As for the feeling of loosing a painting, and the desire to give up. Well if that's the way you feel, then give up! No one has the right to say that's wrong of you.. it's all up to you, you are the absolute ruler, the dictator in your world of creating art. Follow your gut feeling.
My gut feelings were very different from one day to another. The impulse shot to my brain, that said, "no... I can't do this anymore... I failed", it did so a few times actually. Would it have been wrong of me to quit? Of course not! But I chose not to. Often, the feeling of failure comes from our beforehand settled finished result. All the sudden we see on our canvas something different from what we were aiming for, and it hurts us. It hurts me anyway. So, the logical step would be not to give up, but to correct what is wrong so you could once again go down the right road. You know, the first brush stroke is alway absolute right, even "perfect" . It's the next one, and those following that can mess things up for you, if you don't put them in perspective against that first one... am I making any sense?
And what also hurts, is when you get slapped in the face, as you do when you realize "Wow... I'm not a Rembrandt, or a Zorn, or a Caravaggio...", even though we are pretty sure we're not, but we want to be! We are under such an influence it's unbelievable!
All the books, the medias... everywhere we look we see masters. And what is it we covet? We do not decide what to desire, nor do we have any way to change what it is attract to. We covet what we see every day! That's just how our minds work. I guess you have to be a very strong person in order to look away from everything, to only see your inner most feelings and preferences.
I am not that strong... and therefor my aim in my art is a product of the same quality as the masters, dead and alive. I fight this feeling, but it has a way of sneaking up on me as I raise my brush hand toward the canvas.
I guess that would be mastery in a way, - the strength to ignore other masters. Well I'm not there yet, but I hope I will someday.
So many things have been said on this thread, so many nice things. Those comments of yours have helped me in my struggle against the old masters demons, and helped me to NOT compare my work with anyone else's.
Is it so amazing that I almost started all over? No, considering that I didn't have a deadline, and that I still knew what I wanted to achieve. Again, that moment of failure is only a moment away from being fixed and turned to success!!! It's up to the artist.
I want all of you who have posted your comments here to know that I so appreciated your input! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Now I know a couple of things for sure:
1) I will not do another WIP for a while ;)
2) Don't stop fighting until the fighting is done.
3) Perfection doesn't exist.
4) There are no absolute rules.
5) You yourself is in charge.
If you have any question, ask and I will answer. If there's any pictures you would like to see, - ask and I'll fix that for you..
(not sure about the title)
Oil on masonite. 18,8"x24,4" or 47 x 61 cm
BECKERS oil paints, knives, fixative and charcoal
REMBRANDT oil paints (Asphaltum)
W&N oil paints and brushes
08-13-2003, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by Matt V
...and then.. by god, then I SIGNED IT!!!!! Which to me means it's done!!!!!!!!!!
Matt, you sound glad it's over... I hope you got what you wanted out of this painting.
I did want to point out something that shows in the above image as well a few other images you have posted along this WIP. There are odd texture lines found in your painting that could have been brought about by scraping with a jagged edge but now I believe what I'm seeing here is livering. Livering is a defect in the paint structure when a quicker drying paint lies over a usually thick layer of very slow drying paint. Do you agree that this is what happened or did you mechanically create these odd textures?
08-13-2003, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Linoxyn
There are odd texture lines found in your painting that could have been brought about by scraping with a jagged edge but now I believe what I'm seeing here is livering. Livering is a defect in the paint structure when a quicker drying paint lies over a usually thick layer of very slow drying paint. Do you agree that this is what happened or did you mechanically create these odd textures?
Linoxyn...glad that you brought this up....when I had my portrait done by a WC artist it had what I call 'wrinkles'-- lines in it very similar to these, caused we believe from too much oil used, I was told this is the most common reason. But you feel it's more a drying issue...interesting.
08-13-2003, 09:31 AM
Well yes, I mechanically created those, but not entirely by intention.
Here's how the popped-up:
After I decided to give her a re-work, I scraped, really rough, with my knife. The underlying thick layers had not completely dried up. So here and there, I went over the surface with my fingers, rubbing away those flakes of dried paint that I saw everywhere, pulling and pushing the thick semi-dried paint. This maneuver seemed to somehow wrinkle them up! And as I after that applied a thick ocher colored layer of paint, (alkyd based) and almost let it dry, those wrinkles grew even more significant. I at that point thought about taking them away, but then changed my mind and kept them.
Once that was dry, I gave the entire surface a hard rub using a cloth and some wax medium... the texture grew.
This effect could maybe be used deliberately sometime by someone, but I wont let that happen again personally. in the end, it was too much.
08-13-2003, 10:53 AM
Matt,Iwant you to know that everything you say above these rules, i ll have then copy to be reread over and over again. There are very wise thoughts, Thank you for sharing them.
and congratulations on your painting!!!!!
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap
08-13-2003, 10:55 AM
The quotation didnt apperar as I thought, but you know what I mean
Those are tough questions. I once worked on a painting of a nude man on top of a pile of rocks. The combination of the rocks and the flesh was so difficult. Any ideas how I micht do it better?
08-13-2003, 11:29 AM
Matt, what a ride this has been!
I'll echo what others have said and tell you how grateful I am that you shared this experience with us in its entirety (and not just the "good" bits).
This is a thread that I know I'll come back to again and again in my art/painting education.
Again, thank you for being such a great teacher!
08-13-2003, 11:35 AM
I can only repeat what's been said before. The painting is lovely - a triumph!!
Very well done Matt!!!!:clap:
And thank you.
warm thoughts to you and yours
08-13-2003, 12:57 PM
Well, well, look at that lady and in a red dress too, my favorite color. Your adventure is at an end and you can breathe again. Congradulations on this fine achievement, I am glad to come along on the ride. The painting is marvelous and I hope you are especially proud and I think everyone enjoyed your effort.
I agree with you on the rules and things, I love to break the rules of painting, but i will have to look hard to see the rules you broke. I always have to remind myself to be myself, but too many influences have been burned into my mind. Someday I hope that I can paint or draw as well as you and something from you has burned into my mind.
08-13-2003, 01:05 PM
Thank You Matt!
There's a lot to learn from this great WIP, and I'm sure it wasn't a piece of cake doing it, it requires something else...
Once again I tell You this is the center of an expanding wave of knowledge, something You created will have different ways of influence for many people here, a great responsability but You took care of it pretty well... :)
Congratulations and Regards...
08-13-2003, 03:23 PM
This has been a fascinating thread to read through and knowing nothing of working with oils it has been extremely informative.
The end result is great - with a great facial expression.
Just one question:
is this the WIP you promised us in the figure forum?
I ask because you dont seem so keen to do another!
08-13-2003, 04:16 PM
Well Phil, I guess this could qualify as a WIP don't you think?;)
I wont do another one right now... currently working on a n article.
Cheers to you too!!!!!
vBulletin® v3.5.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.