Thursday, 29 November 2012

Princess Zahrah ....

I can't believe it is so long since I last updated my blog, and just when I promised myself I would post more often. I have a number of things on my easels, and they tend to stay there until I am happy that I want to do no more to them. This portrait of my granddaughter is one of them, and as I started this some time ago you may have already seen this on my facebook pages. I'll still post it here as I know not everyone goes to Fb and i'm often asked to share how I paint portraits. The trouble is I get so engrossed in painting them I forget to stop and take photos of the different stages, so there are not too many photos of this one.

This is Princess Zahrah and came about as I was sorting and filing photos. I have so many of  my little princess, but just had to stop and have a go at this one... Not quite so orange looking in real life, or maybe it's just my monitor. 

This was the stage after the initial washes were done.

For some reason I find it a bit more difficult to get a likeness with the grandchildren. I wonder when we are painting someone so close to us we know them too well. It's not so much a problem with drawing them out, but when it comes to painting and choosing colours that's where I tend to lose it a little.  

I have decided as much as I can, to start using more of my own references. I'm so grateful to generous photographers for sharing photos, but I recently found I couldn't enter into a competition as the ref used wasn't my own.

Before I start I usually block out the background in photoshop so i'm not distracted by it, then I print it. I'm finding as I'm getting more experienced with drawing portraits I don't worry about the need of the ref to be the same size and can draw it in a different size if needed. I can never emphasize enough how important drawing practice is, I know how valuable I have found it to be and when I actually started to listen to others telling me so and doing it, I'm amazed how much i've improved.

Here is where it still sits. Some opinions are, that it is done, i'm not to sure on that yet. I know I still have to darken a few touches here and there, like the inner mouth area. Although it doesn't show to well in this photo, some of the areas in the hair are a touch darker and probably not quite so orangy. I do need to add some more wispy bits to the hair as well. It also need warming and more variation in the skin tones. I often see skin painted with the same colour but in different tints, you need to use colour as tone as well and that is what this is lacking at the moment.  It's also on hold at the moment as with Christmas almost here I have lots of other things on the list to finish. 


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