Saturday, December 6, 2008
Having decided on the finished preparatory sketch, I now prepared to do the oil painting. I chose to work on a fine linen canvas which I had stretched before applying two coats of size and two coats of oil primer. I then stained the canvas with a transparent wash of raw umber. This gives me a very useful mid tone on which to build my lights and darks.
I drew the figure in with a brush and fluid paint ( lots of turpentine) before moving on to the blocking in stage. All this time, I am checking angles, proportions, rhythms through the figure, and ,of course, position on the canvas. There is nothing worse than painting a fine head only to discover it's in the wrong place!
The accompanying illustrations show the painting in various stages of development. The head is well under way, the hands are just rapidly sketched in , and there are still large areas of the original staining. In my next blog I will show how the portrait was developed further.