View Full Version : ~ Olga in Winter ~

09-25-2005, 08:19 PM
I am going to have to call it a day with this painting. I am very close to finished with it, but I am weary and do not want to mess up the very delicate work left to do. There will be very little shading in her face, just some subtle shading on the nose, with most of the accentuation on her closed eyes. I also have to turn the corner down on her lips 'ever' so slightly. I hope to work on this again tomorrow night or Wednesday. The rest of my week is packed with meetings.

Olga is wearing a fur coat with her gloved hand about to go through her hair. The angle of the hand was awkward to paint (upturned -- thumb not visible) and since there was virtually no tonal difference it is a bit ambiguous.


Our professor always stresses gesture and I think both of these paintings I did of Olga concentrate on gesture. I did not fuss with the background in this painting too much... just wanted to give an overall feel of winter. Did I succeed? Any suggestions how I can make the hand more dinifinitive at that angle?

This painting is about 18 x 16 give or take a few twelfths. Payne's gray (a better lifter than neutral tint, but still nothing like raw umber violet). The hair was an initial wash of pyrol orange (as in HAZARD orange... 100 proof even to the staunchest of orange-aholics!), glazed with Quin burnt orange, sheded with payne's gray.



Gary B.
09-25-2005, 08:35 PM
This is going to be wonderful The suggestion of winter in the background is just right. Since so much depends on the delicate work of adding her features (which we know you can do beautifully) seems like a good decision to wait 'til you're fresh.

By the way, my wife and I are planning a trip to North Dakota -- the only reason being that it is the only state of the lower 48 that I have never been in and we have plentiful frequent flier miles.

09-25-2005, 09:46 PM
What is the horn shape on her shoulder?????

Lynn Quinn
09-25-2005, 09:50 PM
JJ, I think that's her hand ( or the edge of it) with a glove on it.

mrs willow
09-25-2005, 10:36 PM
I find That area difficult to interpret too. Other than that, it is looking good Deb.Wintry background is working well.

09-25-2005, 11:02 PM
Yeah, the glove doesn't read the best, but wow, the white face vs. the black is gorgeous. Running low on art supplies yet Deb? ;)

Kate Mc
09-26-2005, 02:12 AM
Deb, I love the background--just enough! It looks co-old. I love the lost edge of the face against the background.

But I ADORE the texture of the fur and the fact that the hair has the same texture: rich and abundant. It feels absolutely luxurious. The gesture is unmistakable. The glove is a small problem, IMHO. Not sure how to resolve it-maybe wash it back a little? Not too much, though, because it makes the viewer do a little work. The gesture tells us what she's doing, and then we have to use that to understand the glove.

I'm not sure the face needs anything else--she's bathed in winter light, a snow queen.

Looking forward to seeing how you deal with this.

Kate with bated breath.

09-26-2005, 07:40 AM
What is the horn shape on her shoulder?????

My nemesis... :(

I'm going to take Kate's suggestion and wash it back a little. If I were doing this as an actual painting, not a quick out of class assignment I would have done the glove in a different color, or possibly not had her gloved.

This thread has been moved... didn't even know this forum existed. I don't want to do this as a WIP, so when I'm finished I'll repost back in the gallery.


Kate Mc
09-26-2005, 10:15 AM
Deb, I'm looking at this again, and I think that if you can change the shape of her hand a little, it might make it look more hand-y ( :p ). If you look at the photo, the top of the hand is straight; but if you look at the painting, it looks like there's a bend in it at the viewer's left edge, where it meets the hand. That knobby bit. That's what's bothering me. If you cover it up then the hand looks more like fingers. You still get the stretchy parts over the back of the hand but if you lose the knob it makes it read better.

Just MHO.


09-26-2005, 06:40 PM
pyrol orange (as in HAZARD orange... 100 proof even to the staunchest of orange-aholics

Ha ha that was a good one Deb! I'm really knocked out by this, and see further down the page there is going to be more. Wow! This looks really incredible, I could just about live with it as is. I did this painting too, and much prefer the background you've come up with. You've done an incredible job on the fur coat too. We just got home, I'll show all of this to Olga asap, and I'm sure she'll want to write in...thanks for doing this!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: Nick

09-26-2005, 09:17 PM
Looking at the photo I can see 2 fingers and yes now I see it is a glove. Maybe just define the 2 fingers more..

09-27-2005, 12:31 PM
Where's the finish? :confused: You sure did nail the background! The colors in the coat and hair are just stunning, but then it is easy when you have such a good subject to paint from.... :clap: :clap: :clap:

09-27-2005, 05:51 PM
I worked on this over my lunch and finished it. Delicate touches to the face... some lifting of highlights in coat and hair. Also adjusted the angle of the land in the background to more accentuate the overall composition. I will be back to answer everyone's questions and comments later this evening. I have meeting I have to head out to. I'm thrilled with how this turned out -- horn on shoulder and all :) I'll ask a moderator to move this back to the gallery.



09-27-2005, 08:50 PM
I'm thrilled with how this turned out -- horn on shoulder and all :) I'll ask a moderator to move this back to the gallery.

Deb just post the finished painting in the Gallery..

I love this, I really do, but that hand still looks like a horn to me..;)

You know what it is, we the viewer do not..;)

09-27-2005, 09:20 PM
Hi Deb... I've been having fun with orange these days... but not nearly as *hot* as what you've painted here in Olga's portrait... That gloved hand really is your nemesis... unfortunately, I liked it before you tweaked... no matter... the composition is a powerful one...

09-27-2005, 09:50 PM
This is a stunning painting!! Your use of color and lack thereof is powerfully dramatic. I hope you received high marks for this!!


09-27-2005, 09:53 PM
The gloved hand is problematic. It is amibigous in the photo so it was difficult to make clear when I painted it. However, having studied the photo extensively I have no problem reading it. I wish it were more clear to the observer, but I believe the only way I could have done that would to have changed the color of the glove or not have a glove. Please have a look at Nick's incredible painting.


What he did was accentuate the 'glove'. Of course, he had the real experience of being there and taking the photo in his mind when he painted this. I didn't look at his painting until I almost finished mine, and then I only made some minor changes in the highlighting of Olga's hair. I didn't want to be influenced by his painting -- which I might add is my favorite one in the Olga Ivanonva series!

I will paint this again because I love everything about the photo. My 4-5 hours simply didn't do it justice, but I'm still very pleased with it.


09-28-2005, 03:14 AM
A very difficult subject, Deb.

I would rather leave this thread here in the Studio, but you can now post the finished painting in the Galery.