There is a personal connection that is shared and my goal is to paint them as if you could see them breathe and feel the environment around them. I want the viewer to see them as I see them, feel the energy in that moment.
When I start a painting, I don’t have a clear idea of how it will turn out. The outcome is like a blur to me and that is the exciting aspect of it. When deciding on a pose, I will look for subtleties in the transitions from shadows into the light, the play with edges as well as the color temperatures and the overall mood in the environment. All of these elements, for me, create a dynamic composition and a great starting point.
STAGE 1 First, I began this one by toning the canvas with a neutral warm gray wash, then letting that dry. Then, I went in with a mixture of burnt sienna and manganese blue to draw out the composition and her features. This combination of colors is what I use as a general shadow color. At this stage, I can make the necessary changes in the initial marks by wiping out and drawing back in. This model has very delicate and interesting planes on her face and without any wrong marks she could look like a caricature. So, with that in mind, and in all stages of my painting, I make sure to squint down to check the likeness and where all the angles meet.
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