Thursday, October 17, 2013

'Portrait study of Jim McVicker'

Oil on 12x12" panel.
Lately I have been doing a lot of portrait work and study getting ready for a workshop I'm facilitating in Nov. through Eureka Studio Arts.  I've always had a fascination with portraiture and figurative work, it's the most exciting and personal work, for me. Painting from life and photos, the process  is about rendering and painting simultaneously, I call it direct painting although I did not invent the term. It was developed around the fifteenth century out of a need to produce results in painting more quickly. Traditionally direct painting of the portrait and figure was done on a Venetian red ground and used as a mid tone for the flesh. I've seen this method demonstrated step by step and it's a very exciting concept. This painting of Jim was not done that way. I'll be doing the study again today using the Venetian Red technique! I will add the results to this post below.
                                          Portrait on Venetian Red

Oil on 4"x4" panel. This version although done quickly shows the effects of the red ground. I found working this way made value and color choices click much faster  because the mid tone has been established. Also a harmony is created. In this painting of Jim I started by rendering and blocking in the darks using black acrylic on white canvas. After a few minutes the acrylic dried and I applied a rather opaque glaze of venetian red oil over the entire surface. I was surprised how well the black acrylic showed through, I then proceeded wet into wet. Thank you Jim, for allowing me to photograph you!

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