Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Painting with Planties Tuesday! #11: Working Through the Pain in Painting

I am no stranger to messy beginnings. In fact - I expect them.
For my newest project I had one of my more challenging poses...full body straight from the front - meaning very small facial features and alot of room to have things get tricky!

the first layer of skin is always the most awkward

color palette: yellow ochre, paynes grey, cadmium red dark, burnt umber, carbon black, titanium white, pale portrait pink, quinacridone red, cerulean blue *phew*!
All my paints are Golden Open Acrylics, except for the pale portrait pink which is by Liquitex :)
and another layer and another layer
I like working from a solid tone as best as I can. Note!! Something interesting, when working on an already colored background, it really does change the way the skin color goes on. Because this one was blue, all the original skin tones came out crazy orange! The color on my palette ended up being a sortve ashey tone as I added the blue into it - it still came out orangey but just a thought for the future! Probably always best to ad a wee bit of the background color in when you can :)

let the horror begin.
Yeah, scary I know...it gets worse!!
burn victim alert!
Right here, all you can do is laugh. This was the beginning of a 4 hour journey trying to get her face from that to something a little more human. The only way to do that is layers and layers of shadows.
You can see the paint never goes on smooth. That comes with alot of drying times and patience.

Always keep the transfer paper if you use this method!

Helpful tip! If youre working from a direct model like I am and have used transfer paper to move your sketch onto the canvas - always keep it! If features get lost while putting on skin tones, just try and transfer on some more graphite to help you along the way :)

oh the humanity!!
I know its brutal, believe me it was even more brutal for me! The thing is, the eyes make such a difference, but theres no use working on them until the skin shadows are a bit more established...
Like my dear friend Kristin Palmer said to me the word Pain is in Painting for a reason!

okay, wonky eyes, but we're getting somewhere now.
After a small break to let the paint dry and relieve the nerve stress, I went back in and painting on more hair, adjusted her jaw line, and her mouth....as well as tried to figure out what on earth I had done to her eyes :P

there we go that looks better!
oh so heavenly
now it looks alot more like the model and i can go to sleep relieved :P

In the end after alot of effort I pulled it out of the burn victim horror and back into the light :)
Plenty of breather breaks, and some determination....hopefully this painting will pull together nicely!

Now - what do you think, pink or dark purple dress....hmmm

Night night everyone!


  1. wow, such a journey even as an onlooker!
    fun to read your process, i am ready to transfer a sketch to good art paper that will take paint... after reading your words, i might transfer the outline, put down base paint and then add the details... you can tell i don't have formal training :-)
    wishing you a grand time each step of the way, or at least the outcome!

    1. what a good idea tammie with the paper! its all just trial and error anyway isnt it - we learn by experimentation (at least i do!)
      I am really looking forward to seeing your new piece! will it be in watercolors?

    2. hello,
      the piece is a mix of inks, stains, acrylics and colored pencils, it is a mermaid and sea serpent piece.... in fact time to get off the computer and work on it.

  2. An amazing adventure, and how gorgeous your efforts and pangs realized themselves; she is beautiful! The blues are too! Just fabulous,
    Julie Rose

    1. thank you so much julie :D! I am enjoying the blues too. Right now she almost looks like alice in wonderland because i havent colored in her dress yet :P
      this painting is a journey like all the others, but hey its always the adventure we look forward to right ;) <3