Monday, November 15, 2010

Bathtime, or Patience Is a Virtue

   I've been working on two commissions lately, and should be starting a third this week. This portrait is to be a gift [if it turns out well] His name , his "barn name" anyway, is Duke. Duke is about 11 years old, and has had a very successful career as a jumper. He's BIG [17 hh.] and extremely personable. I'm painting him for his owner, Barb, who has given me several tactful and much-needed kicks in the ass about my art. Thank you, Barb.
Initial sketch

Mask on, and aureolin wash

More yellow, some carmine [I've not used it before]

More carmine, some indanthrone

Too purple; here painting is, after bath

A glaze of aureolin again

Some burnt orange

More burnt orange, and indanthrone

Masking off; starting to thinly glaze greys
   Duke is a beautiful grey, so to show off the depth and variation of  greys, I needed a dark background. So I started by masking out his head and neck, and doing wash after wash. At one point, I realized I had gone too purple. What to do? That's where the bath came in. I took off as much color as I could, dried it, and started again. I think the background has turned out very well, despite the bath. And now I'm playing with the greys; right now I'm using three mixtures - a warmer yellowed grey, a neutral silver grey, and a cool purple one. Here's the Duke, so far ...

1 comment:

  1. Gosh I used to have that problem with backgrounds all the time! My baths never worked as well as yours did though. It looks so lovely I can't wait to see it finished! ANd your sketch is FABULOUS!