“Ashley” Week 3: Diary of a Child Portrait Painting

Ashley Week 3

Ashley Week 3

Well, I didn’t do any oil sketching during the week, but I did eat quite a bit of chocolate. It’s important to achieve goals one sets for oneself …

This week I am looking at the overall painting – particularly the hair.

In the reference photo, the edges of the hair are lost into the sky background. This is a nice effect, but I am not going to be able to achieve it with the colours I am using.

Instead, I reduce the contrast between the sky and hair by using colours of similar value and by softening the edges.

Now that the paint from last week is dry, I can bring the darks into the hair without the colours becoming muddy. I bring some lemon yellow into the cool side of the hair and drag some indian red from the bottom of the hair up some strands.

When the paint is dry, I will try glazing the warm cadmium yellow light over the cool side of the hair to reduce the green tinge.

I work on the scarf with my pthalo blue and pthalo green (and white). I love these colours – they feel so zingy. And I like a good zing.

Now the scarf is done, I feel as though the figure is merging with the background too much so I darken the background by mixing my pthalos with burnt sienna – et voila – she POPS! Of course, now the edges of the hair are too sharp…. so I will have to wait until next week to recreate the wisps.

I quickly paint in the shoulder – I use the basic flesh tone that I have saved from my first session, and blend some darks in (ultramarine blue + burnt sienna), blend some cool areas (ultramarine + white) and blend in some quinacridone violet. Sketchy and soft.

Now I will stare at the paint drying, looking for any bits and pieces that need fixing. The last stage of the painting is a slow process – observing, amending, observing, altering…

Hopefully I will be able to finish my child portrait painting next week…

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