After a total of 47 hours of work over 23 days I’m done with this painting. I ended up naming it Sara after the model’s name from New Masters Academy.
This last session I worked on the painting for about an hour then I started preparing gessoed sheets of paper for my next paintings.
Overall I’m very happy with this painting but I always have opinions on how I can improve. At some point I would like to get to a skill with the figure where I don’t have to labor over it so much. I want to be able to describe without rendering down so far.
Also, I feel this is a good representation of the photo but it doesn’t go much beyond that. I have pushed the colors, trying to breathe some life into the figure. I like the show the reality of skin, more than a porcelain doll like texture. Maybe a style closer to Freud rather than Bouguereau.
I think the next photo I paint from is going to have more cast shadows. The lack of cast shadows in this work, and the stark black background makes the work too sterile for me. I need to be working more towards figures in real situations not somewhere in space.
What I Learned
Glazing really doesn’t need a lot of medium, I did a lot of transparent work on this painting with straight paint out of the tube. With colors like Alizarin Permanent and Transparent Earth Orange I could get a lot of layers to show.
Blues and Greens in skin is much closer to reality. Any time I look at my hand I’m amazed at all of the blues and greens that I can see. Removing all these colors to have a smooth single tone seems very contrived to me.