lately, i've not been able to comment on the blogs of folks i follow - i'm disabled, & sometimes i can't do much, either painting, blogging, or - worse! - reading & commenting on other blogs! i really miss being able to do that, & i'd like you to know that, when i've not been commenting for a while, i'll get back to it just as soon as i can!
today, i did have some energy - & i spent it painting! oh the joy of getting back to putting brush to canvas! i've been working in stages on the daily painters international art challenge for this month, which had a one-word prompt - music.
now, when i think of "music," the first thing that comes to mind is my friend, joseph byrd. joseph is one of the great, important composers of the 20th & 21st centuries. he also plays a mean accordion! so i decided, despite my never having painted a portrait before (& having drawn faces just a few times!), i'd do a painting of joseph.
to start, i did a manip in gimp to play with some ideas. i used a favorite photo of him, taken by H. R. LoBue of H. R. LoBue Fine Art Photography. it was a black & white, so i played with the colors & added a background. i put in some place-holder music, & then got a copy of a sheet of "Water Music," one of joseph's compositions, to paint in. in the end, though, i decided the music was too busy for the painting, & just did the portrait.
here's the original manip:
i chose an 11x14 canvas panel which had been toned with acrylic cad yellow light. (the color's not showing well in the photo, but it was pretty pale to begin with.) i did the grid then sketched in the portrait, with just the barest hints of features.
i wanted the background, hat, & coat to be earthy, sepia colors, so i started working with trans orange oxide, trans yellow oxide, naples yellow (for the right side), & burnt umber & a smidge of payne's grey (for the upper left corner).
then i put in the hat & coat, using mostly a combination of burnt umber & trans yellow oxide, darkened with a bit of payne's grey in places, & lightened by the orange oxide in others.
for the face colors, i chose hansa yellow (i think in other brands, lemon yellow would be the closest), indian yellow, permanent green light, alizarin, & prussian blue. i started putting in the pink, yellow, & orange, using burnt umber for the shadows & glasses frame.
then the greens & blues went in.
after that it was 'merely' a matter of getting the features just right. for the next three hours!! i worked on the face shape, the beard, the nose shadow, the shadow under the chin, the glasses frame, the shadow under the hat, the eyebrow, the placement of the colors to show facial structure, and - the eyes. getting his left eye just right - oh wowie! i think i redid it about eight times - and the highlights twice! but finally i was able to step back & say, hey! it's joseph!
i'm pretty excited about it! i've always felt that portraits were terribly daunting - & it was a lot of exacting detail work - but now that i've done my first, it's not quite so scary any more!
thanks for stopping by - take care till next time!
p.s. i'll be gone from the computer wednesday through friday, so i'll be catching up on my blog reading - & commenting! - after that - see you then!