First night of Oil Portraiture. New model is an older gentleman, so this is going to be a really awesome class! It’s been a good progression of models: the first guy was clean-cut and angular, the second had interesting hair, this one has some wrinkles…and he put his hand in the pose, yikes! Painting a hand!
Just roughing in the drawing here, getting the angles and measurements together and just beginning to add some detail. You can see my value thumbnail for checking composition, I changed things around several times in the thumbnail before starting the larger drawing.
Wrapping up the second in a trilogy of oil portraiture classes tonight. Painting is still wet and oiled up, so I’ll try to get a good pic up once it’s dry and framed. But for now, here’s my second attempt at oil painting!
More or less done with the portrait, one session tomorrow night to do the background and shirt/tie. Always wish I had more time, but I’m pretty happy with it as a second attempt at portraiture so far! Tonight’s focus was the mouth and facial hair, with a few random tweaks here and there.
So it’s been 3 weeks since I worked on the portrait! Of course, I completely forgot how to paint in between. I worked on the hair, another attempt at the facial hair, and ended the night using some of my cool highlight mix to accentuate the secondary light on the flesh.
So kind of a bummer of a class, but I saved it at the end. Tried to work on the mouth/chin/facial hair and just kept getting frustrated. Eventually just sponged the whole night’s work off! As my mind said, “your mojo isn’t here, just go home and chill,” I decided to switch gears entirely.
The instructor had given a lesson on cooling off skin tones and we have a very cool fluorescent I hadn’t accounted for yet (intending to work on shadows next week). So with a half hour left, I mixed up some paint and started slapping down quick color blocks and blending them out. It’s far from perfect, but it looks pretty cool, it directly followed the lesson plan, and it kinda saved my night.
So awesome when I can turn a bad experience into a good one. It’s something I always strive to do (ask me about the Woodstock Inn some time).
Tonight was focusing on the eyes. Really difficult, but overall my favorite part because, much like minis, it brings the painting to life.
The white on the lips is to set up a more vivid red next week when it dries. Same as painting minis! I scored a bonus point for knowing why!
And now Brad has a nose! Still not at the stage where she wants us to detail much. I pretty much ask the instructor what I should focus on and spend the class doing that. So difficult seeing the colors in the dual lighting!
You can see where the second light source is now hinted at on the shadow side of the nose.
Tonight was local color lay-in for the skin. I remember how rough it made the drawing last semester, so I was better equipped to see it turn into a bit of a mess at this point! The instructor continues to really challenge and push me, which is awesome (though I still ask a million questions!). She has my number and realizes I like to push myself to improve!
So I did a bit more with the tones this time, rather than the relatively flat light/dark split I did last time. I think I had 5 brushes going (technically 8 if you count a small round for fixing stuff, a brush for the lips and a dry brush for smoothing). Again, the loveliness of how oil slides against oil…just wonderful to paint with.
I have next week off, but more color and values to come, as well as a return of lost detail! Onward!
Tonight’s session with the model was a curve ball…the instructor changed his position slightly and also the angle of the light. I was going to complain, but decided it was a great chance to learn to move some things around, an extension of what I’ve been focusing on in drawing class!
Then she had me put in the background tone, along with the shirt and hair local colors. A change of pace from last time, but it frames things nicely. Nothing too fancy, yet, but I do like how the cool shirt color I whipped up at the last second to suggest the shadows turned out. And drawing class is paying dividends in freeing up my hand a bit, visible in the suggestion of hair, so it no longer looks like a helmet…
I decided to block in the light side of the face at home. I hope I didn’t mess things up too badly by ‘rushing’ things, but I did refer to my notes from last semester. I had some notes in my notebook but also it was nice having the blog to refer to! Keep a blog! My two worries are that I corrected a bunch of stuff at this stage last semester, and this time I’m just working off the drawing; and also I’m hoping my technique is correct, as I’ve only done this once and my first time was rough… Anyway, here’s the initial blocking:
Then I smooth over the transitions to remove any hard edges. I took a pic partway through this step so you can see how it softens the edges.
And the completed blocking of dark and light masses for the head.
I like it overall. I did shift the center slightly to leave some more space to the right, where he’s looking off into the distance. Not sure if that’s good composition, but I like it 🙂 So Wednesday I’ll be ready to start putting in local color! This weekend’s homework moved me from one week behind to one week ahead! Next big challenge is remembering how to mix flesh tones from primaries…