Friday, February 27, 2009

A traditional method of painting a portrait

In this blog, I will demonstrate a much more traditional method of creating a portrait. In my previous one, it was the “alla prima” method. i.e. painting direct and tackling both tone and colour at the same time. Here the idea is to focus on the drawing and tone, before considering the use of colour.
To speed the process up, I will use acrylics as an underpainting and will be working on board primed with acrylic gesso.

I use titanium white, raw umber, viridian green and Paynes grey. The aim is to produce an almost ghostly image, with the depth of tone lighter than in the finished work. If I make it too dark I will be unable to apply my coloured glazes successfully.
The image shown is after about an hour’s work. I am getting the tilt of the head, the basic proportions and have begun to establish the features. Because acrylics dry so rapidly, it is easy to obliterate mistakes and move things around.

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