Sunday, 27 April 2014

Lavender Hill - Term 5, Weeks 8 - 10

For the last three weeks of term we were able to paint if we wanted to.  I was really excited to try this as it has been over 2 years since my first attempt at portrait painting from a life model and I haven’t had the chance to paint much since.  We spent the first week doing a grisaille.

I used raw umber mixed with solvent.  Starting of by using a large brush to cover the canvas with paint and then wiping it of with a paper towel.  This gives a nice toned background to work on.  Then using a small brush I drew in the basic shapes and then blocked in with a larger brush.  What I liked most was how fluid and easy it was to change things.  I actually scrubbed off my first attempt and started again.

As our model was pregnant I wanted to try a 3/4 pose although this did prove very challenging due to the small size of the features on the head.  My arm and hand was very trembly trying to paint small shadow shapes.  Hopefully I will build up some muscle tone with practice as I really enjoyed doing this.

Week 1 - Grisaille

After a week our paintings were dry and we were supposed to start blocking in the colour.  I didn’t actually end up doing much as I was a little overwhelmed in what to do and where to start. Luckily for me one of the student teachers came into paint and I spent the lesson watching him paint the portrait from beginning to end.  It was a big help.

Week 2 - Studio set-up

Week 2 - Starting to add colour

I felt a lot more confident in what I was going to do in the last week.  I didn’t worry too much about exactly matching colour as I was working with a limited palette of Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black and Titanium White. Instead I focused on values just thinking of three, light , mid tone and dark.  This really helped me.  Our teacher had said to leave the turban to last as it would have changed as did the models clothes and had position so I didn’t worry too much about them.

I also learned that although I couldn’t match the colour of the turban that I could still use high chroma to get the effect. I had originally used too low chroma to paint it. Yet again I had a great time and it was a nice end of term even though I didn’t get to finish it.

Week 3 - Adding colour

Week 3 - Photographed at the studio

Week3 - Photographed at home in daylight