View Full Version : very brave of me...

04-21-2001, 02:26 AM
I have a commission for a friend's husband's birthday.
She is a really sparkly elegant lady and photgraphs great.
I am still working on getting her to firm up some stuff but I thought I would bravely go where I never have before so I am going as a progress post.
Here is my first charcoal sketch. I don't have the photo reference for the front hand yet, but I may lose it altogether in the underpainting. I am doing the new pastel thing, so next picture will be a glop of brown.
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Apr-2001/jillsketch.JPG" border=0>
it is 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper, ...actually it is a fabriano, so it is a triple experiment: first progress posting, first new technique portrait and first on this paper.
Am I a true explorer or what?!?!

04-22-2001, 06:52 AM
Hi DJ...this is the first time for almost a month that i have had access to WC. How nice that I run into a progress portrait. I can't wait to see your progress pictures. Also, is your sketch in charcoal pencil or vine and did you "Fix" it or will you gently rub off the access charcoal?

You know what would be helpful, (yes, i have to admit for me) would be color naming and numbers/brands with each step. Could you also refresh memories (well, my memory) on your "new technique pastel" I know I am asking a great deal.

It will be nice to see each step and the building of each layer. Thanks for posting! gloria

P.S. The face size is what approx. pinky to thumb or smaller. I am not judging a half sheet of watercolor paper size wise. Is it about the size of a half sheet of pastel canson paper?

[This message has been edited by gloria777a (edited April 22, 2001).]

04-23-2001, 05:20 PM
Do not misquote me: this is a work in progress and nothing like a demo. I guarantee no results.
My first lesson will probably be that I hate the paper, but we will see as it goes...
after adding a hand by using my digital cam and computer and a willing assistant, I re-drew the bottom and slopped on underpainting.
Old acrylic and water color. It roughs up the surface and kills the white.

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Apr-2001/underpaint.JPG" border=0>

So right now I have scribbled over it trying to establish value shapes and trying hard to forget local color. Just matching values and laying in tonal patterns.
It is starting to feel way too full of chalk already so I sprayed this all with workable fix and am resting.

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Apr-2001/firstchalkandpic.JPG" border=0>

So far it is just nupastel and my good ole bienfang paper chalks.
More later

04-23-2001, 07:33 PM
Well, with the speed of my day off, I think I am near done.
I told her I might lose her hand and go for the details and when I got here face so done, I really hated to do more.

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Apr-2001/Maybedonewc.jpg" border=0>

I know her newly transplanted wrist is a bit loose, but not much more...
Here is what happened when I stuck a frame around it:

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Apr-2001/Framedwc.jpg" border=0>


04-24-2001, 07:06 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
<FONT size="6"> Cool Job Dj </FONT s>

04-25-2001, 07:07 PM
DJ, I have been thinking of you since the 22nd. I went back down again until tonight. But, how fantastic, it was well worth the wait. I have been finding doing a portrait
(I am just learning pastels) in Nu-pastel was also very helpful. Using a softer pastel for finishing touches.

I wonder, could you share some of the colors or in Nu-pastel the numbers of the sticks that you used. Very interesting the acrylic wash. Would it work on canson do you think?

The hand is so wonderful, it's too bad it got covered with the frame. thanks for sharing DJ regards geri

04-25-2001, 08:46 PM
ok, I am starting this with the appology for my shift key...it is stuck on the left hand and if i stay lower case, i just stay that way.
I am felling on a low ebb - hormones, moon - I have no idea, but when my model replied with a tirade about how fat, puffy and bad hair day she looked, i had the wind knocked out of me.
I may be keeping it. Her bad day is not going to ruin my good picture.
so sniffling, I will try to explain about my production of this piece.
All of the colors are in the nupastel 48 color starter box and the pasello 12 pack.
I did not do anything too fantastic with the sticks, what works is the underpainting.
I was in the middle of exploring oils when I dove back into pastel and found the oil work made pastel so much more rewarding. It stays where you put it, and when you learn to control pressure, it does what you want.
By underpainting in the violets, greens and blues, the golds and pinks of the flesh zing.
The pose is a burned out strobe lit head on, which is much trickier than one with a strong light. The trouble with pastels is how to get gutsy darks. That is where the underpainting makes up for what the chalk lacks.
I would not use canson paper, because it is not made to accept water. The good part of watercolor paper is you can create all of these islands of under tone to enrich as needed.
When i paint red, i underpaint a rich pthalo green..but always grayed and washed. The whole idea is to make the middle value so the generally higher value pastels can lay over it.
My darkest darks are black vine, black pastel and the paperchalk purple and deep blue. they make value only, i put color in with over or under scribbling.
It is a good medium for the coffee addicted.
Thanks for letting me vent a little.
Tomorrow I should feel better or be starting from scratch, either of which will help because I need a BIG event to slap me around.
They decide on my grant tonight and if I don't get it, I shift back into starving student. If I do, I push for hitting the bigger time....
I need and asprin, i will be back later.

04-25-2001, 10:27 PM
DJ Great job....yes i have not been able to get on for over a month thank heavens wetcanvas is back.... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

04-26-2001, 05:02 PM
Wow, dj*! This is sensational!

Thank you so much for sharing the way you work. It's wonderful to see the portrait emerging. And what a good portrait it is too. What a shame the model didn't like it. It's still good, tho'.

Please consider putting a lesson together for our portrait channel.

best wishes http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


04-27-2001, 12:35 AM
...I am definately not feeling enough self-esteem for that TODAY.
About the grant...I am sticking to the pastellos and forgoing the hand made...diane what's her name ones. Going bargain glass and my cut my own mats.
Oh well, it is all and adventure if you survive it!

04-27-2001, 07:16 PM
dj - your portrait is terrific. As far as your "friend" is concerned you should have two words for her - and they're not "happy birthday." That is exactly why I do not work on portraits anymore. I'm too thinned skinned and people can be real louses!! Your work is great and you should be very proud of it.


"It takes two people to do a painting - one to do the painting - the other to kill him before he ruins it!! (source unknown)

04-28-2001, 09:37 PM
thanks for sharing the portrait and process if you are satisfied then it is finished, one works for hours for the short moment when the patron first sees the work, they are rarely satisfied but come to appreciate the work through time, it s hard to splain it to em.

[This message has been edited by DFGray (edited April 28, 2001).]

04-30-2001, 11:54 AM
hey dj..sorry your client was a pickle..lesson http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif
you should ALWAYS get 50% of the commission price BEFORE you begin the job..and charge something like 20% more for commissioned work than you would for other work, this is the "norm"....that way you are at least compensated somewhat for your time and materials if the client decieds they dont like the work for whatever reason..part of the reasoning for this is that (you can tell prospective clients) you would not be able to sell the work very easily and it could sit in your studio collecting dust..

keep goin' http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Leslie M. Ficcaglia
04-30-2001, 08:09 PM
DJ, I think your pastel portrait is lovely. It was impressive initially as a sketch and you've made each line count in the finished picture. It's painterly and very evocative, and if she doesn't like it, it's not because it isn't excellent.

Re: deposits: I've never had a client reject a painting, and unless I smell trouble I don't ask for a deposit because I prefer to work without that pressure hanging over me. The understanding is that they pay me when they accept the work and not before. If they should decide not to take it, I've still had the fun of painting a subject who wouldn't have been available to me otherwise, and it's still a great learning experience. If I ever get really busy I may rethink that policy, but currently it works for me. Congratulations on a great picture, anyway. I love it!

Leslie M. Ficcaglia
Minnamuska Creek Studio
Portrait Gallery at http://www.igc.org/mauriceriver/riverpeople.html

05-09-2001, 01:36 AM
We struck an understanding and here is the update...not actually for the portrait forum, but I thought you might like to see what we settled upon...
LATEST COMMISSION (http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/000361.html)