View Full Version : Gene -- Wip

10-02-2012, 06:52 PM
My new WIP
Gene, 11x14", oil on canvas.
This is one of 5 portraits I have started, and this is the fartherest along. I'd like suggestions wanted for a title.
He's wearing a light blue T-shirt, and there's a strong shadow going diagonally from the right under his chin to left, across his chest, and covering most of his left shoulder. His eye will be a uggestion, barely visible.
Skin color will probably be transparent earth red PR101. Do I need to paint venetian red under that?
Comments and suggestions, please.


10-02-2012, 08:03 PM
Ella I would use this under painting stage to do the modelling of the face, plus capture the tonal shifts. Personally I prefer monotone for doing this.

10-02-2012, 08:21 PM
Wow Ella! 5 more! you have got the bug now for portrait!!! This is looking very interesting already, Andrew could have a good point though, in monotone it would be easier to get the tonal values correct before starting the colour. I am liking it already though Ella! Cheers =)) Debs.

10-02-2012, 08:35 PM
Do you have a reference photo Ella?

10-03-2012, 11:30 AM
Hi, Andrew, What do you mean when you say modeling and tonal shifts?

I don't do grisaille for the underpainting of skin, I use terre verte and lead white. At least to now. My models have all had red skin, and I use venetian red for them. My next one, my daughter, has gray skin. I'll be using Indian Red for her skin. When added to white, It is the perfect color. I wil probably use yellow ochre for underpainting her skin because it will help warm up the cool of the IR, just as the green terre verte cools the heat of the venetian red. Her husband, another of the group, has red skin, he'll get venetian red, and tv + lead white for underpainting.

Hi, Debzy! These are monotone--green, white, and black. I may have to do another layer, haven't decided yet. I don't like to go as dark as is needed, it's hard for me to lighten to the correct point. As mentioned above, the one I'll work on today will have lead white, yellow ochre, and probably burnt umber. Don't want to add black, it would turn the yellow to green. There may be that tendency with the umber anyway. Maybe I'll go with a purple, instead.
I worked on another of my daughter for me yesterday, and used raw sienna and white. I'm not sure I like it. I do like yellow ochre for skin tones, and it may go better with the Indian Red.
Have you thought of a title for GENE?
Thanks ,

10-07-2012, 12:40 PM
Gene second layer of verdaccio. I may do a third layer, haven't decided yet.
What do you think? Is there enough detail, are the form and values complete?
Seeing it here I may need to do more with the ear and nose. I was tired and had to stop last night.
C&C welcome and appreciated.


Black Spot
10-07-2012, 12:59 PM
I quite agree with, monotone can be any colour. It's hard to say if the form is complete as you haven't finished covering the canvas. I think you might want to spent some time in blending your edges and getting those wrinkles more defined.

10-08-2012, 10:39 AM
Black Spot, thanks for stopping in and commenting. I see what you're saying.

10-09-2012, 12:23 AM
Verdaccio is generally used to refine the values and tones of the under-painting. It appears you have applied this layer as individual marks to build up form? Yet there is no detail forming the ear and the face under this layer.

10-09-2012, 04:57 PM
Hi, Andrew, No, this was done from the desaturated photo, which showed darks where I didn't see them that way in my first. Yes, the ear got undone, and the nose could be done better. It was late. I had pushed myself harder tha I should have, and then just quit.
I'm learning about this, and this is the first painting that has gotten two verdaccio layers. I've gone way darker on the whole head than I intended, and won't add more to the verdaccio.
A goal had been to start out with transparent earth red and glaze, but I think the V is already too dark. I may still use the TER, but added to white. Otherwise, I will use venetian red with white.
Now I think it will be covered opaquely, using the markings as a guide.

My understanding of verdaccio is that it was often used instead of grisaille, not on top of it, or with it.
Thank you for your questions.

10-10-2012, 09:38 AM
I'm still trying to think of a title Ella! I quite like "Gene" though! =)) Looking forward to next instalment! Cheers =)) Debs.

10-10-2012, 02:12 PM
Thanks, Debs! I hope to do more on him today, after chores and company.
This is a bit intimidating. I don't have much idea of what I'm doing.

10-10-2012, 04:06 PM
I can understand how you might feel intimidated, I have felt that way at times with some paintings too.Try not to worry too much, just see it as another exercise / learning process and the worst that can happen is you can stuff it up!! :rolleyes: But then you can fix it again! :clap: The beauty of painting! Its just paint and canvas, you are doing a great job so far and as it develops more you will gain confidence my friend. :thumbsup: We will help as much as possible because we have all felt that way. Repairing Rick was marvellous, you are very skilled. We are always learning and nothing worthwhile was ever easy!.:wink2: Cheers Ella and please keep going, loving it so far. =)) Debs.

10-10-2012, 11:28 PM
I have learned a BUNCH with this painting.
One thing I learned was that a smooth canvas is important for this technique, so I will be taking more care with prep.
I REALLY need to use lighter green, and where an area is darker, do a second or third layer, not one stronger layer
Blend where appropriate.
Do NOT do this when I'm tired.
Did I say don't go so dark?

I am beginning to get an understanding of this layering technique.
A goal had been to start out with transparent earth red and glaze, but I was right, the V is already too dark. I did use the TRE on it this layer. I think I will still use the TER, but added to white. If that doesn't work, I'll switch to venetian red with white.
It will be covered partly opaquely, using the markings as a guide.

It is to be done by early November, so I don't want to take a lot of time experimenting/playing, and it has to dry thoroughly before I do more.
Except for the cheek and temple areas, I don't think this is as bad as it appears at first glance.
The mistake was that I went way to dark all over with the verdaccio.

C&C welcome. (I cry easily...)


10-24-2012, 12:44 AM
I'm finally back in!
This is the new version. Still work to be done, and this has to dry first. What can I do to make the eye shadow look like shadow, not a plastic lens covering that area?

All comments and hard crits welcome. I'm here to learn and improve.
Title, anyone?
Thanks for looking. Ella

10-24-2012, 03:50 AM
Ths is coming along nicely. Your doing very well with the very difficult pose. Should the thicker part of lip be more to the left? Try fading the eye shaddow in places to breakup the dark line its got. Arnie

10-24-2012, 11:55 PM
red and green mixed together make a marvelous brown

from that mixture you also have red, redgreen, greenred, and green

plus white and use that limited pallet to find the true values here - the darkest darks and the lightest lights

you'll have to rebuild the eye, it's lost under an eye patch of green

remember, shadows are not blankets, so keep them very transparent and know that by using the right color (complimentary like the red/green combination) it takes so very little to dust a shadow into place

it's a long, interesting, challenging journey, good thing it's fun, right


10-25-2012, 08:22 PM
Arnie, thanks. I'll check that lip--it seems to be falling off his face. I have sork to do on that area, the cheek, and the white line between cheek color and ehy shadow. I'll work on softening that shadow.

La, thanks. What do you suggest re the eye itself--dark lines or light? Shadow color or skin color?
Arnie, La, thanks for your comments.

10-26-2012, 02:26 AM
La, thanks. What do you suggest re the eye itself--dark lines or light? Shadow color or skin color?

suggest skin color with shadow color after - i've found that to ultimately be the easiest way - few short cuts are successful in doing faces ... if you are able to post the reference image it would help, but i expect you can actually see the eye, right? it's just somewhat hidden in shadow?

it's important to see, to paint what you see, not what you think you should be seeing.


11-01-2012, 02:57 PM
Update on Gene. I had the colors out, so did a little: worked on the cheek and side of forehead, the eye, and his hair, viewer left.
I did a little on the front of his forehead, nose and bridge of nose area, and the upper part of his forehead. Still work to do, I wanted to post this for your suggestions.
La, thanks for yor comments. His eye is all but invisible.

All comments appreciated. Thanks for looking.