Monday, August 20, 2007

"By the Full Moon Bridge"

I started this large painting the other day at our local county fair as a demo piece. I realize this is not a full painting done in one sitting (actually it will take several sittings of several hours each to finish), but I thought some of you might enjoy seeing something actually develop. Right now it's pretty much in the underpainting stage and needs a lot of refinement. I'll be showing you other stages as they develop but not over the next few days as I have "daily" paintings to do and also a large commission demanding my attention.

I started this piece with a raw umber imprimatura (toned canvas), and then did a subtractive underpainting in which I pulled out the highlights showing the white canvas below. You can still see this part of the painting in the flowers that she is holding. Once dry I started working thin layers of paint into it. I kept things simple but have defined the skin temperatures for the planes of the face. The hair is the last to be painted and I wait until the final strokes of the painting to do this. Her hair is up in a knot so right now she looks a bit masculine as if she has short hair. The background is a bit of a challenge as I don't have much in the way of reference material for it, but it seems to be coming along well enough. I keep you posted as things move along. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

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