Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Final image

After some very helpful feedback from a couple of very accomplished and trusted artists, I made the decision (after the last posting) to remove one of the locks of hair over the forehead. I like it much more now and it is drying ready for the varnishing next week.

I know that it is very controvertial to varnish this early and usually you need to wait 6 - 12 months but I  need the painting to be ready for a show in Dec. It won't be sold but rather given to the person in the painting so if there is issues with condition I can fix it in the future. Gamblin (maker of Gamvar) says that you can varnish as soon as it is very dry to touch.

So here is the painting but just understand that right now it is very hard to get a good image. Some of the paint is very reflective and some is matt. I'm hoping that once varnished it is easier to get a better photo.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

It's Finished!

It's finished. At least enough that I signed it. I might see a few touch ups in the next day or two but I'm satisfied with it. Now I just have to get a good photo of it.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Step 23 Getting close to the finish

I put in a lot of work yesterday and today. I finished the eyes, corrected and finished the glasses, finished the eyebrows, started blocking in the hair, worked on the mouth, and started the mustache and beard. The only things left to finish are the hair and beard areas. Then I have to start the search for corrections and get them done. I need to finish it in the next couple of days so it will dry by the end of the month and I can varnish. It has to be delivered for the show by Dec 3 and the varnish will also have to be dry. It is not the best I can do but it is the best I can do with the deadline I have. My next oil painting will be better.

I'll show you the whole painting where it is right now and also a closeup of the head so you can see what I have left to do.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Step 22

I was working all over the face again today. Not so much the skin tones but the eyes, hair, ear, and shadows. I am going to leave the skin tones basically how they are. I want this to be a painting, not a photo. Next is more work on the hair, beard, eyebrows, and the glasses frames and reflections. Once those are done I can look over the whole painting to see where the errors are and start corrections.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Step 21

Today I worked all over the face again correcting skin tones and volues. I adjusted the pupils and irises in the eyes. I corrected the hairline, and started putting in the beard, eyebrows and mustache. I also worked on the teeth and lips. I still have to start the glasses frames on one eye and correct the glasses and reflections all over.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Step 20

Today I only painted for an hour but I had a lot of insights. The first was that when I put out the oil paint I need to adjust them with medium so they are all the same consistency (not some thin and some pastey), I also should not scimp on the amount of paint I put out. In my painting I realized that one pupil is lower than the other so that will have to be adjusted. The hairline is also way too high. I am developing a technique to blend colours and I am still using bigger brushes and blocking in colours better every day. So little time put in but lots of good learning. Today I worked all over the face adjusting colours. I had to stop because eveything is too wet. I can't paint tomorrow (life gets in the way) but that will give the paint time to dry a little.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Step 19

Today I realized that the blocked in colours on the face weren't right. The darks weren't dark enough and the lights not light enough. I've started revising the blocked in colours on the face so right now it looks rougher than yesterday but I'm getting the values more accurate. Nothing worse than a washed out looking painting. LOL. I also worked on the nose trying to get the shading right.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Step 18

Today was for working all over the cheeks and nose. I'm getting the idea of doing oils. I am picking up bigger brushes and blocking in areas of colour rather than going with little brushes and picking at details.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Step 17

Today was for correcting a few details in the same eye and working on the mouth.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

There is mostly just the head to do now with just some minor adjustments on the clothing and background later. I've decided rather than skip all over the face I'd start at the eye and begin getting it as close as possible and work out from it. So today I just worked on the eye. I'll start showing the face in the photos so you can follow the details. There will still be final adjustments after this layer is finished.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Step 15

I only had an hour to work on this today because I've started my xmas baking. So today I worked some more on the clothing and zipper. They are getting close to being finished. Back to the face again tomorrow.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Step 14

I was running late and didn't have a lot of time to paint this morning. That and the fact the face wasn't completely dry from last time, meant that today I concentrated on shading on the arms and vest. Very subtle changes but a lot of finicky work. Imagine blending like you do with eye shadow (those of you who use it).

Friday, October 20, 2017

Step 13

Today I worked on areas all over the face correcting colours. I also worked on the zipper. The changes aren't very obvious but it's one step at a time.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Step 12

It's been many months since I did any painting. Life just gets in the way. I have now decided that I need to schedule time daily to get back into the habit instead of just consigning it to the bottom of the daily "to do" list.

I'm back to working on this oil portrait of my brother-in-law and just in time. It has to be dried and varnished by December for a show it is going in.

I've started back by blocking in all over the face to cover the yellow empty spaces. I am trying to get the colours close in colour and value and will go back later to correct. The side of his face is not that light beige colour you see. I had a hard time getting an accurate photo. It is more the colour of his forehead.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Step 11

I worked 1 1/2 hrs on this today. It is grey and raining out and the light was not the best. I did a little on the neck and ear but mostly concentrated on the shirt. The left arm (our right) needs more shading still and I'll finish it next session.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Step 10

Another couple of hours work on this today. I couldn't work on the face because it is still too wet so I worked on the sweater. Most of that is done now. I still have work to do on the zipper and then I'll finish the shirt under it before going back to the face. There doesn't look like there is much change since the last entry because it is very subtle but it looks much better to me.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Step 9

I did a couple more hours on this today. It's been awhile since I worked on it because not only have I been very busy but also because it was taking a long time to not just dry but to set up at all. By adding clove oil to my linseed oil (just a drop) it delayed drying much too long. Even today, some areas where I tried to layer colour, it just lifted the bottom layer. I went back to just linseed oil. I would rather have it dry too fast than too slow.

Today I started on the eyes again and some of the face tones. I've been trying to put in detail in the more finished eye that I couldn't see in the reference photo because it was hidden by glare in the glasses. I realized I didn't have to put in the detail under the glare, just paint what I see. So I put in the first layer of the glare on one side. I also worked a little on the mouth and teeth.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Step 8

This morning I worked on the fabric around the neck and a little on the neck itself. Not a lot done today but at least I did some. Life keeps getting in the way of my painting.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Step 7

Another couple of hours done on this today. I was going to work on the face but it was still too wet. I have to learn how much medium to put in to get it to dry when I want it too. So, instead, I worked on the clothing. It isn't finished but the main colours are mostly blocked in. I can see now that a source of frustration is going to be the black zipper on the vest (where the yellow line is right now). The other mistake I made was making it so big as my first big portrait in oils. I have to keep stepping back to see if the folds are making sense and my studio isn't big enough. I will keep trying though.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Step 6

A couple more hours painting on this today. I concentrated on the right eye blocking in the colour matching it with the reference image. It is going to be difficult in some areas because there is a glare on the glasses hiding some of the details that I'll have to duplicate.

I also repainted the background and corrected his outer hairline. I think the background will be left like that until the rest is finished and I decide if it needs any adjustments.

The yellow on his face is still just the undercoating but I know it's distracting. I can't cover it yet or it would get rid of my reference lines I will need later.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Step 5

I'm finally going ahead with this painting. I found the painting wasn't looking very much like my brother-in-law so I had to think about it for awhile. After a big sigh I realized that I needed to move the mouth and both eyes. It was frustrating so I procrastinated a few days. For all you knitters out there, it was like having to unravel half your work when you discover a major mistake. You don't feel like sitting down to re-do all your work right away. LOL. I finally redrew the features and today I had to paint over the old eyes and mouth and went ahead starting to block in some skin tones on the face. The results are pretty basic since it is just back to the first steps but at least now it looks like him. Yay. The yellow areas are still the toned board underneath where there is no paint.

I also have finally figured out my work space for oil painting since my watercolour set up didn't work. What I'm finding annoying right now is the time to set up and put away supplies after each session. I was spoiled by watercolour where you can just rinse your brush and walk away. I'm learning every day but I won't give up on oils until I've done quite a few to see if oil painting is what I want to go ahead with.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Step 4

I am finally back to painting after a few days break. I wasn't lazy though, I was watching hours of instructional videos on how to paint with oils. I felt I wasn't getting the idea just trying it on my own. A big problem was glare on the painting while working and the videos helped me identify what the problem was. A light source (a window in my case) directly behind me made the glare. I've rearranged my studio so the light is coming from the side and no more problems with glare.

I wanted to start covering large areas of the canvas next with a middle value before I went back to the face. There are no details yet or shading but the canvas is covered. I can see now the grey background needs to be lightened as well. The yellow lines in the vest are where fold lines are and I didn't want to lose the lines by painting over them. Here is today's efforts. The whitish area on the right background is glare and not there in real life.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Step 3

I am still struggling with switching to another medium. I know how to make watercolours do what I want but oil paints are so thick and dry compared to them. Also, I find the pigments are not the same (at least I'm not familiar enough with them yet). So today I worked some more on the eye and started blocking in some of the darkest colours on the face. Whoever said that oils dry slowly so you have lots of time to blend wasn't using mine. Yesterday's work was almost dry to touch so it made it hard to put another layer on. I'm watching You Tube videos for tips on working in oils.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

step 2

It almost doesn't feel like I did enough today to call it step 2. I am just learning a new medium, different brushes, and different technique so as I feel more comfortable I'll speed up my painting. Today I started blocking in some colour around one eye and adjusted colours in the whites and irises. Getting a photo of it is really difficult because the wet paint makes a glare. The glare also alters the colours a bit. The background is grey, not bluish purple. So many new things to learn.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hidden Struggle step 1

This is the really ugly stage of the painting. LOL. I toned the whole painting first with a yellow ocher colour to give it a warm underpainting and lock in the pencil lines. Today I started painting the background and the first layers of colour in the eyes and mouth. The colours look a little strange because the yellow is still showing through the semi-transparent first washes on the eyes and mouth. There will be a gradual build up of colour as it progresses. The first thing I realized after getting back to oils after so long is that I need better brushes.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Starting my next painting

I'm working on the drawing for my next painting which will be in oils. It is a portrait of my brother-in-law and larger than life size (24 x 30"). Most of the drawing is done but I'm still correcting the eyes (they are not looking in the same direction). I'll try and finish the drawing tonight so I can start putting in some background tomorrow. This is drawn on gessoed hardboard.

This is for a show with our local art club scheduled for December (oils take a long time to dry). This isn't a very good photo but it's hard to get a decent photo of lines on a white background.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Finished Bundled Up

I'm calling this one finished. I corrected values around the whole painting, corrected the front boy's eyes, and fixed the boots. I tried to add some snow flakes on the boots and pants but didn't like the look of it so I took it out. It didn't add anything to the composition. I've now waxed the surface to protect it and it's ready for our art club's show in February.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Step 9 - nearly done

I worked all over the painting correcting values and colours. I still have a little more to do around the boots but besides that, the main correction will be the eyes of the boy in front. They still aren't right and the eyes are always the focus of a painting. These are also my grandsons so I can tell if it isn't quite right. This will probably be done by tomorrow then once it's completely dry I'll cover it with Dorlands Wax to protect it. That way it can be hung without glass. I forgot to mention earlier that this is 16 x 20".

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Step 8

Another few hours. More work on the boots and started working on values to make creases on the snowsuits.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Step 7

Today I concentrated on the front snowsuit but also worked a few other areas while waiting for parts to dry. Still a long way to go but I like the fact that almost all the white (that will be covered) is covered.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Step 6

Today I finished the plaid coat that was giving me so much difficulty. It will probably get some details or shadows added farther on in the process but tomorrow I can move on finally. I have to paint from the farthest away to the nearest so the overlapping edges of the subject on top will look right. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Step 5

Another few hours done on this. It is a little slow going because I'm using the first washes to figure out where everything goes. I worked on the snow suits today.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Step 4

A few more hours of work done on this. The green coat will be closer to the colour of the hood rather than the initial wash of lime green on the rest of the coat. Lots of work still but I'm filling in first washes to figure out where the colours go and cover the white paper.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Step 3

I worked on this a few hours this morning and the boy in the back's head is finished except for the final tiny touches once the rest of the painting is done. I've started the first washes on the boy in front as well as working out some of the first washes on the plaid coat. I was going quickly on the green coat to cover a lot of the white paper and started making mistakes I'll have to lift at the start of the next session. I decided to stop since I must be getting tired when I start making mistakes as my attention drifts. I'm loving the bright colours but some colours are harder to mix.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Step 2

I worked more on the face and started on the complicated jacket that is a multi-coloured plaid. The coats are a wonderful mix of bright colours.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bundled Up

Now that a very busy Xmas season is finally finished and everything put away I can go back to my painting. I have a few shows coming up with our art club (the Porcupine Art Club) and the first one is next month. Therefore, I only have a couple of weeks to get this first one finished.

The theme of the show is "In the Deep Mid Winter". My reference photo was taken by my son while out sledding with two of my grandsons. I am calling this painting "Bundled Up'.

Step 1
It's hard to get a good photo with so much of the white paper showing.