This was the first of my portraits painted under Dee Donaldson's profoundly discerning eye, expertise and honed intuition.
First steps activating the canvas and getting the image on using, for want of a better way of putting it, the underlying shadow colour.
Having mixed a selection of mid tone colours the next step was to start blocking in the basic areas. She's looking pretty gruesome.
Decided at this stage to darken a fair bit of the background. To get rid of some of the lighter toned pink so that I could get a more accurate idea of what the facial tones were looking like against the dark background. Also at this stage the greens I was seeing in the reference were looking rather strong against it's complimentary pink.
I carried on for a good while adding more tonal and colour shifts whilst focusing always on form, accurate placement of the features and mark making. I choose not to used a grid only because I enjoy the challenge of placing the features accurately using only my eye. Scary how often I get this so wrong at first. I always find it fascinating how the brain gets in the way and guides me in the wrong direction. It often stops me from really seeing. I also paint upside down a great deal as this helps me focus on shapes, tonal shifts, colour, angles etc in the reference. This way I am not painting a face. Rather a relationship between all these elements.
This is where I left the painting for a few months.
So this, above, is where I was when I went for my weekly painting class this morning. Sorry Roz, it needs more. Dee showed me some examples of beautifully executed portraits with areas of delicious thick impasto paint which just gave the painting that extra life and tactility. Want some of that.