Saturday, March 22, 2008

Portrait of Three

Enough of this daily painting for now, I wanted a "challenge". So I had a photo of my step (adult) kids and step daughter-in-law and decided to try a portrait of the three of them in pastel. It has been my experience in the past to not have much success with even 2 people in a portrait, but I thought, I have time, I have patience, I have skill - now I will put it to the true test. I don't use grids and I don't use projection.
You can see the progression of the portrait hopefully each day. I spent many hours on it so far, not even realizing it was 7:00 when I stopped, but when I think back, that was 5 CD's worth of time, plus!
And thanks Leann... no.. magic didn't happen on blocking in the shapes and voila - there was Katie. I meant to take photos step-by-step (cause I usually don't) and forgot, until she was almost done. I will slow down and get some better steps in for the remainder of the work.
So far, Katie, looks like "her mom" almost like herself but not quite, Ryan has a good likeness, and I will be continuing with the skin tone and colors next.
I block in the shapes of the individuals (mainly for composition and placement) with dark sienna pastel. Then give it a wash of turp with a brush. It will be important to keep the headsize in visual perspective as I go. Each has a different underlying skintone. Katie is blueish and purple. Ryan has yellow and pink tones and Leslie is very fair skinned, pale and pinkish. Another hurdle for me is, a flash was used almost straight onto the middle figure, which shows me less contrast in Ryan's face. Good thing I have other photos of him, so I can reference them if needed.

I started on the left, as I will be dragging my hand across the painting as I go. Katie will be worked on some more, when I get the other two more than roughed in.

Katie is finished for now and on to Ryan. I realized that the likeness was most important for now, as I had worked so long on the first portrait already. I needed to create the likeness before I was satisfied and quit for today.

I now have the likeness down, and will continue to rework the skintones and shadows and get his mouth right, tomorrow - or possibly take Easter off.

Happy Easter, as I may not even get on the computer tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pattie,
I'm Tracy Wall (no relation, is there?) and I'm not too far away in Denver.

I found your site via Katherine Tyrell's "Making a Mark" blog and your mention of last weekend's workshop.

I enjoyed your reading your blog/seeing your work. Portraits are my nemisis and I try to stay away from them. Yours looks like such a good start!

I'll certainly keep up with your site. Best wishes!

Pattie said...

Thanks for stopping by Tracy, I love it when there are other "Walls" out there in the art world!

Portraits have always been where I come back to, when I have made the rounds with other subjects.

Other's say no, but for me, it's most important to get the likeness correct.