View Full Version : My attempt at Pavonia by Frederick Leighton's

05-06-2013, 05:18 AM
Hey all I'm a newbie here and self taught,
I've started back into oil painting again after a break (usually I'm a digital artist, so I don't get the time... And get spoilt with the undo and zoom button;p

The painting is in early stages yet, I'm just doing the great scale first and plan to use glazes to get the colour

However I'm self taught, so worry that ill do this incorrectly, as know if I do this wrong it will crack

I have several paintings I started from a few weeks ago, I like to do this for practice, I've noticed my brush work improving each time, with the last attempt being the best likeness, you can view them here and comment if you like on hoe you would proceed

The blog is like my work book documenting the attemps, and what I did for later reference.


05-06-2013, 07:57 AM

I have three of the same painting I'm working on
( I find the practice does me good, and it lets me see other approaches
And lets me test and not get too worried about mistakes)

So this is the second version of this painting, I've just put the skin colour on,

The other two are drying at the moment... So will have to find something else to paint ;p as I hate waiting for paint to dry ;p

05-06-2013, 08:21 AM

05-06-2013, 08:37 AM
Thanks maryinasia :) still lots to do but the encouragement helps :)

05-06-2013, 11:16 AM
Very nice work.

Perhaps use a dry medium while you are waiting for these to dry, always a good way to expand your talents, then you can compare a graphite version with a pastel or color pencil.
thanx 4 sharing these


Dana Design
05-06-2013, 11:20 AM
Looking absolutely beautiful! There's no shortage of talent here!

Nathalie Chavieve
05-06-2013, 03:34 PM
Nice start ! Would be interesting to see the original painting to compare with.

05-10-2013, 05:17 PM
wow it looks like you can draw heads without copying this is so good, can you?

05-12-2013, 05:59 AM
Yes, I learnt to draw anatomy while studying animation... Once you learn the basic shapes of the body and how forms fit together it makes it easier :p, still I'm no master like the guys I'm copying, they make my head spin ;p
Thanks though :p

05-13-2013, 09:57 AM
I Leighton and I love your copy of his Pavonia. You have managed to get much of the softness and subtly of his work. Looking forward to seeing finished result.

05-17-2013, 06:36 AM
This is the first version of the painting I'm working on (I'm making three for practice) so on this one I'm adding the feathers in greyscale, ill let them dry then tint... Was a bit annoyed as the face I think looks a bit different, but at least not too bad (but the eyebrows probably are too high, ill leave it as is since she's still ok to look at ;p)

05-17-2013, 06:48 AM
Great first attempt. Are you going to heighten the colours at all? I have a Leighton catalogue and this painting is on the front cover it is breath taking. You are brave to attempt it. Excellent job indeed. Can't wait to see the next one.

So you break down the face into shapes. I have been going to a life studio and have found myself doing that with the body to keep it under control. I must apply it to the face more.

05-17-2013, 11:16 AM
Thanks, yes I have to wait for it to dry and then ill be glazing away to get nice colours, I just find it easier to breakup colour, from value... All prima painters are amazing, maybe one day ill be good enough.

So maybe a another week or so before I can try to get the colours working a bit better.

Yes you'll find breaking down and understanding the planes of the face a great help good luck, i found this book very useful (we used it a lot in animation) Constructive Anatomy by George Bridgman.

05-18-2013, 08:18 AM
I agree re alla prima, I have trouble working in such an immediate form. I have drawn all my life and feel comfortable with a pencil, but have only just taken up oils and seem to need to proceed cautiously with the layer technique. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

Thanks for the info on the book, I will look out for it.

05-18-2013, 04:06 PM
After all those years learning your drawing craft nows the time to get to enjoy it on a whole new level, have fun :) layering rocks !

05-19-2013, 05:22 PM
You are laughing at my term "layering technique" I guess under painting and glazes would be more correct :o. I am having fun though as we all should when we are drawing or painting.:)

05-22-2013, 03:36 PM

Just need to buy some small brushes and get some liquin in town for some detail - found a store that has it :D,

Am mostly happy, probably ill have to restate the hair hilights and work on the feathers, and colours a bit more though.
The drapery needs lots of work too.

Nathalie Chavieve
05-23-2013, 12:42 PM
Very nice painting, I love the way you did the hair, drapery and dress. ( even it is not finished yet ). You have caught the likeness with the original painting very well. In my opinion the face, neck and shoulder looks a little bit flat and somehow dead. If you look to the original painting it has much more play of light and shadows, and the forms of the face are defined stronger. I think some high lights and shadows will bring face to the life. And a tiny touch of blush on the cheek......

05-25-2013, 12:12 PM
Just working on another version of it while the other dries, am more happy in as much that I didn't rush the drapery and have taken more time to get the face a bit better
This morning was fixing the eye so she looks less like Winston Churchill ;p

Eye fixed, waiting to dry before adding colour.

05-25-2013, 12:25 PM
Thanks Nathalie,
I'd agree exactly, (sorry I had written reply but it seems to have been gobbled by the computer!) in any-case just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement and good advise! Brought some new brushes yesterday so will hope to be able to get more contrast next week when it's dry :)

05-26-2013, 03:18 AM
I am really enjoying watching these three progress. A wise choice, working on three at once. I know what you mean with cmd/ctrl-z. Sometimes when painting and I applied a stroke wrong I unconsciously start to lift my left hand, with the thumb and pointing finger going into position, then realize darn, there is no undo.

05-26-2013, 06:04 AM
Hehehe thanks AllisonR
Nice to know I'm not alone in this urge!
I do exactly the same! :lol: :wave: