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rjmarchitect
11-30-2009, 09:51 AM
This is the start of the Widow from the study I posted last week. I took advantage of the comments, although the posted photo doesn't look like it. The eyes are considerably darker on the work, they stand out at this point for some reason (poor photography).

I look forward to your additional comments.

Reference photo (Widow in Afghanistan)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2009/204144-The_eyes.jpg

Stage One
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2009/204144-My_Eyes_have_seen___1.jpg

Thanks,
Russ

raizes
11-30-2009, 12:10 PM
great start. I can't wait to see how you do the fabric

Barbara WC
11-30-2009, 12:26 PM
Beautiful start! What oil pastels and surface are you using? Size? I was out of town last week so didn't see your other post.

The one thing I was going to point out, that maybe you mentioned might be from the photography, is that the whites of the eyes look too bright and white.

Can't wait to see how you paint the fabric!

Barbara

rjmarchitect
11-30-2009, 12:38 PM
Barbara, yes it was that the whites were too white. They really are a very mid grey and sit in the deep shadow like the rest of her face.

Size is 16" x 20" on Ampersand Pastelboard with Senn's and Holbeins.

Thanks for the encouragement from both Rich and Barbara.
Russ

HelgaP
11-30-2009, 12:58 PM
Your apples were so damn good, I can't wait to see what you do with this one...Hmm out of context that may sound a little weird but I'm sure you get what I'm saying. (grin)

rjmarchitect
11-30-2009, 01:19 PM
Thanks Helga, I think I get it. This may be a bit more difficult than the apples so we'll have to see how it comes out.
Russ

SammyH
11-30-2009, 01:31 PM
Russ,
Really good start. I was planning to mention that the whites of the eyes are too bright but Barbara beat me to it. In the reference photo, I see some pink in the inner corner and various shades of blue-grays. Also, it may be nice to cut some flesh tones into the eyebrows so that they don't appear to be so solid and dark. This face won't stand out so strongly once you get color around it.

Very nice drawing. Looking forward to see this progress.

rjmarchitect
11-30-2009, 02:09 PM
Thanks Sammy for the suggestions. The actual work does have those pinks and grays in the eyes (photography not figured out yet!). I really like the eyebrow suggestion, they do appear to be one big hair. Thanks so much.
Russ

halthepainter
11-30-2009, 03:22 PM
Fantastic as always Russ.

Pat Isaac
11-30-2009, 03:24 PM
This is a great start, Russ and you have been given some good suggestions so far. i'd also do the same with the lashes on the bottom lids as they seem like too much of a dark line. Nice workup with the cloth too.

Pat

HelgaP
12-01-2009, 11:47 AM
As I think Russ mentioned, it's not the best reference pic so maybe it's not imperative that he sticks to it religiously. In fact, if he feels confident enough, a few tactical changes may actually be in order to make the finished work really great as a opposed to the photo which is just okay.

Mmadsen
12-01-2009, 02:28 PM
Fantastic so far. Those eyes are piercing.

Mark

seejay
12-01-2009, 04:46 PM
A tough subject, I think, looking forward to your work.

Cheers

truck driver
12-01-2009, 06:15 PM
Damn this looks like its on the way to being another great piece of work.
Looking forward to watching it progress.

RG

rjmarchitect
12-01-2009, 11:20 PM
Thanks everyone for the encouragement. It's a little after nine tonight and I hope to get some more done. Will post it soon.
Russ

rjmarchitect
12-02-2009, 02:30 AM
Well I started to block in the head covering. I haven't used this PastelBoard before and it sure seems to absorb the oils faster than the Uart paper. It seems I will have to work a little differently than before. As usual all comments are welcome.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_Have_Seen_---2.jpg
Russ

SammyH
12-02-2009, 09:43 AM
Beautiful start on the fabric, Russ, and I like the colors you have chosen. The eyebrows do look better.

Pat Isaac
12-02-2009, 10:19 AM
This is a wonderful start to the robe, Russ....Like those folds.

Pat

rjmarchitect
12-02-2009, 10:26 AM
Thanks Sammy and Pat. Do either of you have experience with the PastelBoard? This drying feeling to the OP's is giving me some difficulty when I let the work sit. Any ideas would be appreciated on if this is avoidable or is it just the absorbency of the board (which I guess they advertise)?
Russ

Pat Isaac
12-02-2009, 10:29 AM
I have not used the pastel board, but it may be similar to the boards I use. I have to build up a few layers of OPs before I lose that dry feeling.

Pat

rjmarchitect
12-02-2009, 11:10 AM
Thanks Pat. I'll just keep plugging along.
Russ

truck driver
12-02-2009, 08:08 PM
I dont know which I am more impressed with, your drawing or your use of oil pastels. This looks like it could be fantastic.

RG

rjmarchitect
12-03-2009, 12:13 AM
RG - Thanks, I have been excited about doing this piece almost since I started using the OP's and visiting this forum. It has been the encouragement of you all that has me attempting it.
Russ

Barbara WC
12-03-2009, 12:00 PM
Beautiful start to the fabric, Russ. :thumbsup:

I have an Ampersand Pastelboard that's been sitting in my closet for a few months- haven't used it because I'm a little intimidated about doing something grand on it because it was more expensive than the other supports I use! That said, I have used Ampersand's Watercolor board and didn't care for it- in my hands, the surface was nothing like the watercolor paper I'm used to. But, op's are a different beast, I guess I just need to get out the board and try it! You mentioned the drying of the op's, how about blending, do you find it more difficult than on the UArt?

Looking forward to more updates. This is such a wonderful piece.

Barbara

rjmarchitect
12-03-2009, 03:03 PM
Thanks Barbara. My wife came in last night and said it seems this is taking longer than the other projects I have been working on. I am not sure if its the board or the fact its more than 3 times the size of anything I have done.

As far as the board goes Pats info on more layers is quite right. I can add lots of color on top after a couple of hours and more after a day. This does make it difficult to blend, which I love to do, but I discovered that if I put a layer of Sennelier Transparent medium over a dry feeling patch it helps to liven it up. Also I just add some more of the base color and go forward. On the whole I think I will enjoy using this board in the future. I just have to pace my work areas to not get too much ahead of myself.
Russ

truck driver
12-03-2009, 06:43 PM
Thanks Barbara. My wife came in last night and said it seems this is taking longer than the other projects I have been working on. I am not sure if its the board or the fact its more than 3 times the size of anything I have done.

As far as the board goes Pats info on more layers is quite right. I can add lots of color on top after a couple of hours and more after a day. This does make it difficult to blend, which I love to do, but I discovered that if I put a layer of Sennelier Transparent medium over a dry feeling patch it helps to liven it up. Also I just add some more of the base color and go forward. On the whole I think I will enjoy using this board in the future. I just have to pace my work areas to not get too much ahead of myself.
Russ

this also works if your using harder ops, something about the transperant sen, seems to make the others softer, and easier to work with as well. Just thought I would point this out. Not trying to hijack your thread with useless bits of trivia, really ...

RG

aolaranora
12-03-2009, 08:22 PM
That is promising to be some amazing work!
Looking forward to see more stages of it. :-)

rjmarchitect
12-03-2009, 11:37 PM
RG - Not a problem, in fact I hadn't thought about using them with a harder OP. I have some Erengi OP's that I have found too hard for what I have been doing so I will have to give it a try with them. Also I was reading Sammy's rose thread and saw her sharpen a hard OP, another helpful option for the Erengi's.

Thanks for your input RG!

Thanks for the encouragement Tatiana.
Russ

VladK
12-04-2009, 01:02 AM
Russ, what a great and promising work:thumbsup: Keep going:clap:

rjmarchitect
12-04-2009, 01:48 AM
Here is a progress report for tonight. These folds and the drying issues have me going slowly.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_Have_Seen___3.jpg

By the way, my lovely wife took this reference photo. When I tried to get this woman's picture she would turn her head away (it seemed all the women did this when a man pointed the camera their way).
Thanks for the encouragement again. Keep the C&C's coming they are all helpful and appreciated.
Russ

Mmadsen
12-04-2009, 11:27 AM
lookin' very good. Love the pic, love the thread. Thanks,

Mark

rjmarchitect
12-06-2009, 02:12 AM
Got a chance to work some more today. I think I am getting a handle on this board. Do small sections that you can start and stop at, but finish the area your working on.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_Have_Seen_4.jpg
Please comments are welcome. Any suggestions as to what to do with the background when I get there would be appreciated?
Russ

Pat Isaac
12-06-2009, 07:21 AM
Outstanding and I really like all the nuances of color in the folds. So far my thought for the back ground is something simple so as not to take away from the figure.

Pat

SammyH
12-06-2009, 09:52 AM
Russ,
This is looking so terrific with wonderful colors. I agree with Pat about the bg being simple and perhaps a cool color since the subject is mostly warm. Maybe a dark green with some variation in shades to suggest foliage abstractly. It's a pleasant to watch this progress.

hollyga
12-06-2009, 10:16 AM
Russ, I am just loving watching your progress on this one. I feel extremely inadequate to critiuque or comment but your progress is amazing.

Holly

HelgaP
12-06-2009, 11:46 AM
It was an instinctual guess but it looks like I was right, this is turning out to be fabulous work, I'm loving the fabric so far, well done Russ, just keep going and let's see where it takes you.

Silverknight
12-06-2009, 02:39 PM
your draping is incredible, this is going to be really good. As for the background, I have a hard time choosing those myself so I'm not sure...Im thinking, it being a more desert-y type of place maybe stick to the neutrals, or use the brick wall in behind and extend that though?

I love the pastelboards myself and prefer those (and the canvas with colorfix supertooth too) over any other support I've tried. I tend to do a lot of layers so the quick dry works for me.

rjmarchitect
12-06-2009, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the notes. These fold seem to take a bit of time and the more I do the better I understand this board.

I like the suggestions for the background although I have to say Sammy that since there isn't much foliage in Afghanistan I would have difficulty using greens. They do seem to love bright colors in the blue/blue green families, maybe something in there might work?

Silverknight since you use the pastelboard do you put finished pieces under glass? This seems to dry so tight I can't imagine it ever smudging without considerable effort. Has anyone used that Sennelier d"Artigny fixative in lieu of glass?

Thanks again for the positive feedback.
Russ

SammyH
12-06-2009, 08:01 PM
Russ,
Oops! You're right about foliage in the desert. Perhaps just a cool blue sky color would work.
Are you using Ampersand Pastelbord? I ask because I have two that I'm planning to use soon. Now that you are getting the knack of using it, would you choose it again?

rjmarchitect
12-06-2009, 08:25 PM
Sammy,
Yes I would indeed use it again. I am thinking of doing a piece of my granddaughter snow sledding for a show called "faces of winter" and would us it for that since I want to do it 24" x 24" and I like the sturdy base. I like to move the work around a lot and it is great from that standpoint.

This is a photo of some kids (in the OP RIL) that shows what I think is a favorite color over there! Not sure if it would work with this?
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2009/204144-54220030.jpg
Let me know what you think.

Russ

truck driver
12-06-2009, 09:01 PM
Ifnt it was me for the backround, I would go with a warm grey fading to lighter.. as it aproaches the image. That would be my idea, but hey i'm old fashioned and no fun..


RG

rjmarchitect
12-06-2009, 09:13 PM
Thanks RG! I may take some paper and do several ideas and place them around the final face when its done.

But I will take all the ideas anyone has and keep looking.
Russ

Silverknight
12-07-2009, 10:43 PM
I usually suggest to all who get my work that they put it behind masterpiece glass (from Michael's) to protect from dust even though I do spray with fixative. I have one here that I just had framed at Michaels and that glass is terrific! not much glare and the colors aren't affected at all.

I like that grey blue for your background from the photo, maybe mottled a bit so it's hazy.

rjmarchitect
12-09-2009, 02:44 AM
Here is the latest update. There is some work to do to get the shirt to work, but need to let it sit a while. C & C's are welcome.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_Have_Seen_5.jpg

Russ

Pat Isaac
12-09-2009, 08:02 AM
JUst great, Russ....I keep picking my jaw up off the floor....Really like watching this progression.

Pat

reeta
12-09-2009, 08:28 AM
Fabulous work!!
Ree:)

truck driver
12-09-2009, 02:17 PM
Pat, imagine those of us who arent as skilled with ops.. This thread is an eye opener. Guy new to ops comes in and starts OFF with op's doing this kind of work... Impressive..


RG

SammyH
12-09-2009, 02:25 PM
Wonderful painting, Russ. Love the colors. You're a natural with OPs. Looking forward to seeing the finish.

rjmarchitect
12-13-2009, 03:46 AM
Been away for a bit, so THANK YOU ALL for the encouragement. :heart: Here she is almost ready for the background. I am not sure if I should try all the detail in her shirt, a lot of lines that may detract from the head dress! Any thoughts would be appreciated.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_Have_Seen_--6.jpg

Russ

truck driver
12-13-2009, 04:56 AM
Russ:

I think finishing the shirt will further highlight the headwrap. Bring it into focus. Looking great.. Oh btw these people around here will talk about you while your gone...

RG

SammyH
12-13-2009, 09:39 AM
Absolutely gorgeous, Russ. I'm eager to see the completion.

Pat Isaac
12-13-2009, 10:08 AM
Stunning work. I would put a suggestion of the shirt lines to make it more finished like the rest of the pirce.

Pat

rjmarchitect
12-14-2009, 01:16 AM
Thanks RG, Sammy and Pat. I have put in an indication of the texture, not as heavy as the ref. I thank you for the encouragement to do it, I think it does help to define the shirt more.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_Have_Seen_--7.jpg

Let me know your thoughts if they should be bolder?
Now on to the background!
Russ

rjmarchitect
12-14-2009, 02:38 AM
It's late but I have grandkids coming on Wednesday and my son graduating from ASU on Thursday so there are 4 schemes for the back ground. I think I like the bottom left (warm tones). Keep your good thoughts coming they are really appreciated. This has turned out to be far more difficult than I imagined when I started and you all have been so supportive.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2009/204144-DSC_0004.JPG

Thanks, Russ

robertsloan2
12-14-2009, 03:11 AM
Russ, this is magnificent. I read through from the beginning looking at all the stages and I am awed. I love this painting.

My favorite background is the lower left one, the gray-to-bluish backdrop like a cement wall. Any of these would work though, they are all good choices. I more lean toward the bleakness of that gray but you could leave a window in it behind her showing that searing bright sky to the right behind her, since that warms her headdress some. It almost works the way it is, except I'd do the bottom quadrant on the right gray too like it's a shorter wall.

Grim, out of focus concrete juxtaposed with the brilliant hot blue sky could work well.

Pat Isaac
12-14-2009, 08:01 AM
I like the stripe suggestion and wouldn't make it any bolder. I also like the lower left fot bg color. Looks as if you are having a busy week coming up. Have fun.

Pat

rjmarchitect
12-14-2009, 12:41 PM
Through photoshop, what do you think of something like this?
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Dec-2009/204144-DSC_0004-1.jpg

Thanks,

Russ

truck driver
12-14-2009, 04:53 PM
Well, Russ you have managed to accomplish something, when it comes to art very rarely do both my wife, and I come quickly into agreement. We both like the photoshop version.

RG

rjmarchitect
12-14-2009, 05:09 PM
RG, Thanks! My wife agrees with the two of you as well. I do think I will try to transition the foreground into the greys a bit more subtly. A maybe a bit of darker colors in the sky.

Also thanks to Robert as you got me thinking of the three colors and how they could tie into her gaze down the same line.

Russ

Silverknight
12-14-2009, 11:05 PM
I like the photoshop version maybe muted a tiny bit on the blue, and I also really like the bottom Left from the patches.

rjmarchitect
12-19-2009, 02:52 AM
Well I think I have done enough to this and should call it finished.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2009/204144-My_Eyes_HaveSeen--8.jpg

I have appreciated all your help and wonderful comments. Please let me know your C & C's on the final product.

Russ

Pat Isaac
12-19-2009, 07:50 AM
This is stunning, Russ. What a fine painting and I like the background. The movement of the sand compliments the folds of the garment...

Pat

SammyH
12-19-2009, 10:00 AM
This is absolutely gorgeous, Russ. Great background! You have really taken to OPs.

Herb
12-19-2009, 10:19 AM
Beautiful work, Russ! I have enjoyed watching you develop. You definitely captured the intensity of the gaze. And I like the delicate blending and shading.

pumkin54
12-19-2009, 06:08 PM
Awesome job. I was more and more impressed with each new post. I think I exclaimed aloud a few times. You should feel really proud. This is great work!

Herb
12-19-2009, 07:21 PM
I have enjoyed watching you develop.

Oops! :o Another case of typing slower than one is thinking. I'm sure you are quite well developed as well, Russ. I did, however, enjoy watching the painting develop. :D

truck driver
12-20-2009, 01:49 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:clap: Great work Russ :clap:

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

hollyga
12-20-2009, 08:34 AM
Russ - DITTO RG's post!!!! I have so loved watching this one progress. I know you have learned a lot from everyone's suggestions on this one - - but so have I and I got to watch this great painting develop as well! What a PLUS!!! I am in awe of your talent!

Holly

jamezzz
12-21-2009, 12:02 AM
Amazing work! I'm gonna' have to find the other works everyone's talkin' about!!

rjmarchitect
12-24-2009, 11:35 AM
Merry Christmas to ALL!

Thanks for your help and gracious comments. May God grant a special blessing to everyone this time of the year.

Russ

raizes
12-24-2009, 12:42 PM
a masterpiece Russ. Excellent work on the entire painting, the texture of the fabric, light and shadow, the look in the eyes. It's pretty much to perfection. Congrats on a great painting!!

robertsloan2
12-24-2009, 07:37 PM
I love the finish, Russ! What a magnificent painting, so full of emotion and so interesting in all its textures and details. It's intimate, makes me feel as if I know her personally.

Chloe_1
12-25-2009, 01:53 AM
Great painting!
Thanks for sharing the steps.
What kind of op's did you use?
Mariette

truck driver
12-26-2009, 10:05 PM
Pat I vote, that when this thread dies off, it gets moved to the WIP section.

Theres lots of good stuff in here..

RG

rjmarchitect
12-29-2009, 02:34 PM
Thank you all for the great encouragement! I look forward to seeing all your works and the many great styles and techniques.
Russ

kennychaffin
07-08-2010, 05:04 PM
Great job! Thanks for sharing!

rjmarchitect
05-28-2011, 06:30 PM
This piece was accepted into "Tell Us A Story: 2011 Summer Group Exhibit" at Segil Fine Art in Monrovia, CA.
Show dates are June 18, 2011 to August 20, 2011.
Not only was the work juried there was a requirement of a 100 word "Story" about the piece, mine was:

My Eyes Have Seen, what you may wonder. Have I seen death in my family, the destruction of my home or terrorists running my country? Iíve seen a life alone without my husband and children. Iíve seen the daily struggle to survive in a land that is not hospitable to a widow. Iíve seen foreigners looking at me and wondering who I am and how pitiful I appear. All this I have seen, but now I see strength and resolve to overcome all this because I am a proud woman, a strong woman because My Eyes Have Seen.

Thanks,
Russ

halthepainter
05-30-2011, 08:42 AM
Congratulations Russ. That is quite an honor. Glad to have you still keeping in touch with us.

tbezesky
11-20-2011, 05:08 PM
Absolutely stunning! I especially like the drapery and all the different textures!

Since the pastelbord you used is quite coarse,
has anyone ever tried sanding it some?