Saturday, December 27, 2008

Painting a Portrait

Hat and Sunglasses - WIP (work in progress)
original oil painting, 14 x 11 inch, unframed
copyright 2008 MaryAnn Cleary

The last couple of days, I have been reading up on the color palettes of the some of the Masters, especially Rembrandt. Rembrandt actually used a very limited palette. From what I can tell, it looks to be around six different colors with most of them being golden or warm tones - more on what I found in a later post. I will try to photograph the colors in the old book that I found a few years back.

With this portrait, I started off using two different colors - indian red and pthalo blue. Both are pretty intense just by themselves. Today I decided to add a few by mixing a little rembrandt red with the indian red and then a little alizarin crimson with indian red. I also added a yellow....cad yellow light and mixed this with a little indian red. From there I also mixed white with these to finish up the portrait. For now, I am letting the painting sit for a few days before doing anything else to it. There are a few things that I may change, but for now it is best just to put it aside.

I also will be starting another portrait for a project with Different Strokes for Different Folks. This painting project will entail using a photo of someone else in the group and doing an interpretation of that photo into a portrait. I thought that it would be best to practice a couple first before jumping in like I usually do. I do enjoy doing portraits and I forgot how much fun they are. I knew that this is the direction that I should be going after starting the latest portrait and then dreaming about the best way to finish it. That is a sure sign that I am enjoying what I am doing versus wondering what I should paint next. I also believe limiting my palette helped me immensely.

For now, I need to sleep on this one again and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow. I will probably do more with the background....but first set it aside.

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