Monthly Archives: August 2017

Self Portrait #4

Self Portrait #4
Acrylic on Canvas

I started this painting by squirting paint straight onto the canvas and loosely spreading it around with a palette knife.  Working from a black and white photo, I initially just focused on getting the values (lightness and darkness) right in the flesh tones.  Then I mixed up some various desaturated colors and worked them into the face until an interesting balance was achieved.

I’m very happy with the final result, but the truth is that I didn’t like the way it looked until the very last brush stroke.  This one took about 9 hours.

Notes for the next painting:
1) Keep resisting the urge to blend paint…  Let the brush strokes show.
2) Consider using even less saturated colors and maybe a more limited palette.
3) Use smaller brushes (and brush strokes) for the detail areas.
4) Use glazing liquid to add more layers of brush strokes for more depth.
5) Lower the lighting in the studio.  This painting came out a little darker than I would have wanted possibly because the canvas was too brightly lit during the painting process.

Lily #2

Lily #2
Acrylic on Canvas

This was a difficult one.  Since I was painting my daughter, I didn’t feel as free to experiment.  I took a very conservative approach to the painting and it shows.  Also, the colors I mixed for the skin tones were a bit drab and my numerous touch ups made the paint a bit muddy by the end.  I also focused on the details too early in the process.  Overall, I learned many lessons from this portrait that I will be carrying forward.