Sunday, November 11, 2012

Portrait of Dave-- Finished

I am finished with Dave's portrait. Can;'t wait to see what he does with mine. I will explain a little about my process when I paint a portrait from a photo. It is very different from what I do when I paint from life. I prefer to paint form life because there is no guessing about what color something actually is or how a certain form turns, eye color etc. Plus it is really more like plein air painting, as you have a limited time period to capture what you see in front of you on canvas and I really enjoy plein air painting.

So when I do a portrait from a photo I try to encourage the person to give me a picture that flatters them and that actually says something about them. I am going to post the picture Dave initially gave me and that I rejected. Here it is beside the one that I eventually chose as a reference.

Again, the one I chose was not necessarily the one that had the best "portrait lighting", per the instructions at the beginning of the WC! thread. BUT it was one I thought made Dave look good and he seemed to be in his element and enjoying himself. He had told me he fixed boats and was on his way to work on one this past weekend. I asked him if he would mind getting some pictures of himself with the boats. That's the look I was interested in.

I think the pose with boats is much more "Dave", but I would be guessing because I don't really know him. Very well. At all.

This portrait was a lot of fun because I got to paint Dave's wispy hair and beard. It is the perfect kind of hair for a wet in wet technique, which is what I always use.

I increased the contrast in the original photo to make the lights and shadows easier to see. I did the umber underpainting and after I had all the values pretty close I did couple coats of color. You can see the umber color is still a big presence in the painting and it helps harmonize the other colors.

This is a limited palette painting. I used titanium white, yellow ochre, ivory black, raw umber, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cadmium red light and cad yellow light.

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