Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Diary of a Painting (continued.5)

Today I had the pleasure of working from life!  April came to spend the day at the studio.  She arrived around 11 and we talked a good while, needing to catch up on a lot of recent events.  She was ecstatic about the work done on the painting so far.  She said she felt like she was standing before a classic, not "just a portrait, but a PAINTING."  Eventually we set up the pose,  trying to arrange it as closely as possible to the original sitting.  I asked April to wear the blouse (but not the rest of the outfit) so that I could work on her face in the painting.

This girl has the most amazing skin tones.  There is a coolness at the temple and in her neck.  She is almost "olive" in some lights, in others beige.  Yet, she is as delicate and pale as anybody I know.  I have yet to capture that delicate thin quality. I mixed up some various skin tones and began dabbing little mosaics of color, reinforcing the darkest darks and establishing the lightest lights.  April asked me, "What was it you said about using purple in flesh tones?"  I suddenly remembered the combination that had worked so well on my last painting, the mix that inspired me in a dream and had roused me to wake and write down before I could forget: dioxizine purple, raw sienna and white.  It makes a really amazing cool flesh tone.  And to warm it, I add a dab of English or Grumbacher red.  So I mixed it up and we worked the rest of the afternoon, bringing the face to an acceptable level of  completion.  However, I plan on pushing it to a higher level as I did in my last painting of Eric.  Tell me what you think (pardon the glare from the overhead lighting):
April 8-4-2010
I took a photo of this session and will complete the painting from that photo, rather than relying on the first session.  The painting progresses and so should the photos.  April is heading off to school in two weeks and won't be able to sit for me any more.  I am on my own.  But this special person has been much more than my model.  She has been my muse and my friend who has accompanied me on a fabulous journey.  Our paths are diverging as she goes to follow her dreams and I strive to grow as a painter of extraordinary people.