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Rebecca
06-24-2001, 08:31 PM
Hello,
I'll soon be busy again, but before it happens, I thought I'd submit a detail from a painting I made recently...

sandge
06-24-2001, 08:41 PM
Hi Rebecca_A!
Welcome to Portraiture. Find yourself an easel and make yourself at home.

The detail you've posted is wonderful. Is it possible to see the entire painting? Is it oil?

TMoore
06-24-2001, 08:41 PM
Oh Rebecca, this is terrific - so classical in style. You gatta post more!

Rebecca
06-24-2001, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by sandrafletcher
Is it possible to see the entire painting? Is it oil?

Yes, this is oil on linen mounted on panel.

JeanineJ
06-26-2001, 07:59 AM
So very beautiful!

campsart
06-26-2001, 07:23 PM
I almost missed this...

Very, very nicely done. Uh oh...you post more and I'll start picking your brain also! Excellent work!

David..."the hobbyist" www.home.earthlink.net/~campsart

Verdaccio
06-27-2001, 12:03 AM
Wonderful! :)

Raffaele
06-27-2001, 12:31 AM
Very very nice. Love those eyes and soft edges
Could you please describe your method.

sandge
06-27-2001, 12:57 AM
Wow! Thanks for posting the painting. It's stunning!

Actually, I was hoping it would clear something up for me. But it doesn't. So I guess I'll just have to ask and hope it doesn't sound too rude. Um, is it a man or a woman?

The pose is sensuous and slightly feminine but the features (esp the forehead) look more masculine to me. Mind you, I do think this ambiguity add to the painting. Gives it a sense of mystery.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Rebecca
06-27-2001, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by Raffaele
Could you please describe your method.

Here is a summary of the method, but first, Sandra -- it's a woman. I think the painting in person leaves the viewer with no question about that, but somehow the ambiguity is increased as a luminent image. The model has a large forehead that prominently overhangs her face. Also, her mouth is high, which makes the jaw seem large and masculinizes the lower face. She has fine feminine skin in person, but it is very difficult to emphasize that particular quality in paint when the proportions suggest a more masculine countenance. She is the most difficult subject I have ever painted.

The method. The painting was first laid in with raw umber and a little burnt umber over a sanquine conte under drawing that was not fixed. For the lights, the paint was left thin, allowing the white of the canvas to show through. The shade zones were left simple, but careful attention was paid to the transitions between shade and light. The red from the conte mixed into the paint,warming the underpainting ever so slightly at contour edges. Matching the value scheme of the underpainting, the next layer was opaque paint, blocking-in the fundamental colors of the light and shade side of the face, hair and backdrop. Each area then received special attention to detail, typically developing across the canvas from the lights to the darks. But in some areas, the darks were built back into the deeper values from the lighter areas. Eventually, a little glazing was used to add luminous color in certain areas, and scumbling was applied to get soft, feminine skin. More glazes were applied over the scumbles which cooled the colors too much. Generally, the final scumbles and impasto touches (also applied last) are found only in the lit side of the forms. Much of the painting was from earth pigments, raw umber, green ochre, red ochre, Venetian red, burnt umber; also I used ivory black, Spanish earth, a green, a crimson, and flake white.

This portrait was not a commission, but an excersize for me. I wanted to get that mysterious effect, as Sandra picked up on.

Thanks to all for your expressions of interest. I appreciate it very much.

campsart
06-27-2001, 08:52 AM
Did you use anything to "fix" the underpainting before proceeding with the painting process. Did you have any problems at all painting over the conte? I personally seen the woman in this from the beginning. I just took it for granted that her features were as such because of being slightly "big boned" or of slightly larger frame. I feel as though her features make for a very gripping composition. I may be wrong but I see a certain "Mona Lisa" in this. What gave you the idea for the interesting background? I feel you carefully planned your way through this fantastic journey. I hope you enjoyed your trip!

BTW...I know others would enjoy seeing this posted in the oil painting forum! Would you please consider posting it there?

David www.home.earthlink.net/~campsart

Rebecca
06-27-2001, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by campsart
A) Did you use anything to "fix" the underpainting before proceeding with the painting process.
B) Did you have any problems at all painting over the conte?
C) What gave you the idea for the interesting background?
D) BTW...I know others would enjoy seeing this posted in the oil painting forum! Would you please consider posting it there?

A) Once I finished the underpainting, which took a day, I set a lamp on it, close-up to the canvas. The bulb put warm air on the painting, so it thoroughly dried overnight and was ready for the next layer. No fixing other than the natural "drying" of the paint was needed.
B) I suppose I might have had problems with the conte, if I smeared it out in the wrong direction as I applied the paint. But I used it to warm up the turning edges, and I kept in well contained areas and out of areas I didn't want any red. Ultimately, most all the red would be covered by the subsequent layers. It's not the only way I do an underdrawing. Sometimes I paint in a very fine line of thinned-down raw umber, which I allow to dry before proceding.
C) I wanted a distant backdrop (yes, like the Mona Lisa has), so I used a view of Silcon Valley from Woodside -- sort of "The New Florence". Subtle reference, if you know what I mean...
D) Do people ever just send eachother to other forums? Should I just say that there is a post over here that campsart is wanting them to see? Or is it better to post again from scratch?

campsart
06-27-2001, 08:53 PM
Rebecca...

It doesn't matter how or what you say to post...just post please. You can say I sent you if you want or just copy your initial post here and paste it into the oil painting forum. Trust me...no one cares what brought you there. They'll love it. I just want others to enjoy this fine painting as much as I have.

Thanks for answering my questions but I'll have to warn you...I'll probably have many more as I am so eager to learn from artists such as yourself. Please keep posting!

David..."the hobbyist" www.home.earthlink.net/~campsart

wendee
06-27-2001, 10:06 PM
This is sooooo excellent:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

artman2384
06-28-2001, 02:47 PM
Rebecca_a
you have done a awesome job on the painting i hope to see more of your work:D
what size canvas was this done on?

Rebecca
06-28-2001, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by artman2384
Rebecca_a
you have done a awesome job on the painting i hope to see more of your work:D
what size canvas was this done on?

Thanks artman. This canvas is 20 X 16

yogi
09-26-2001, 10:29 PM
Truly exquisite work, and thank you so much for going into detail on how you painted it. You are generous and kind to share your time in writing out the "how's" as well as to give us an opportunity to enjoy your artwork. Please post more!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Leslie M. Ficcaglia
09-27-2001, 08:49 AM
What a beautiful work! The treatment of the hair is especially wonderful, and I like the way the backlighting of the head echoes the yellow light on the hills behind her. The painting is so timeless that it could have been completed at any point in the last three hundred years.

Do you normally do commissioned portraiture, or do you paint a range of subjects? Do tell us more about yourself!

impressionist2
09-27-2001, 02:14 PM
Rebecca, Funny you should mention the Mona Lisa, because that was the first thing I thought of when I saw your beautiful painting. Your background is superb. I love the mouth, very mysterious. Beautiful work. Do you have a website? Renee Brown http://www.LongislandFineArt.com :clap: :clap:

Rebecca
09-28-2001, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by Leslie M. Ficcaglia
Do you normally do commissioned portraiture, or do you paint a range of subjects? Do tell us more about yourself!

Originally posted by Renee Brown
Do you have a website?

Thanks Leslie and Renee for bringing this painting back up for discussion. You made some very thoughtful remarks. Funny you asked about this now, because I just heard from American Artist about the feature article they wrote on me. It's about my portrait painting, and it'll be in the January 2002 issue. It should hit the news stands in early December. I have not actively sought portrait commissions for some time, but nevertheless, I do seem to end up with at least one per year. The rest of the time, I paint my own themes, and teach. You can see more about my work at my web site: http://art.net/rebecca
enjoy!

impetuous
09-28-2001, 07:23 PM
Rebecca, this is fantastic :clap:
There is a timeless and classic beauty to her, a softness that immediately puts the viewer at ease.
Some paintings just have "IT", you know, that comfortable feeling, like sitting in a big squashy sofa in front of a roaring fire with a cup of steaming coffee.
This painting has "IT", you must be very proud!
Truly Awesome!!!

Nathangill
09-29-2001, 10:04 AM
THis one really reminds me of one of Leonardo's works... More than it does the Mona Lisa...
I saw it in a book a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, that book is some 80 miles away.

Anyway, I like this a lot.
The model may have some slightly masculine attributes, but the whole setup of the painting... I don't see how she'd be thought male.

I love how you work your oils.

Rebecca
09-29-2001, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Nathangill
THis one really reminds me of [some other] one of Leonardo's works... More than it does the Mona Lisa...

Originally posted by impetuous
This painting has "IT", you must be very proud!
Truly Awesome!!!

Nathangill and impetuous,
Thanks for your remarks/compliments. In making this painting, I did think of Leonardo's heads in general, but that was because my model's face made me think of them. I did not attempt to make her look like Mona Lisa, but I did want to render the face in a way that would support a Leonardo-like effect. The setting, that is, the Bay Area vista in the backdrop, was simply a subtle reference to [The] Mona Lisa, and the "New Florence." --(I know that the vista behind Mona Lisa is not actually Florence, but we connect Leonardo with Florence)
re: "you must be very proud!"... I actually never feel that any of my paintings have achieved the intent of my original vision. I get closer with each try, however. I don't mind being critical of my own efforts: It helps me to continue striving for better and better.

bbbilly1326
09-29-2001, 03:22 PM
Rebecca, this is stunning. I love everything abou it --the colors, the allusion to the Mona Lisa, and this model's classically beautiful face. And thanks for the tips as well.

Bill

Rebecca
09-29-2001, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by bbbilly1326
Rebecca, this is stunning. I love everything about it --the colors, the allusion to the Mona Lisa, and this model's classically beautiful face. And thanks for the tips as well.

Bill

Bill,
Thanks, and you are welcome.