Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wings to Freedom WIP 1

 Painting a detailed background for this portrait has taken me a while. I decided to make quite big changes from the original reference photo because I wanted to add more atmosphere to the piece and to show the sky and clouds to make it feel more open.

With the background and glider now basically done I can now focus on painting Wayne.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finished Commission

It was so much fun painting in Rossi's wrinkly face. I'm definitely in love (grin) I never could resist a cute puppy. Anyhow, here is the finished painting.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Commission progress

I have now finished working from the first reference photo. It was a challenge making Jim's hair spikey. I havent painted spikey hair before. I always like exploring and finding ways to meet a challenge.

Now I will start working on the puppy. As I look into his face on the ref photo I just wish I could reach out and cuddle him. He is just so adorable. I will need to think very carefully when painting him though because I need to add in the extra light from the right that was not there in the ref photo. I will also need to add some more shadowing to Elisha's hands which will be cast by the puppy. Its these sorts of things that make working from two photos a challenge but to me, its far better to have to think about this than try and guess information from a poor photo. I will post again when the painting is complete.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Choosing photo's for a Commission

I am currently working on a commission and my client has given me permission to share the process with you all.

Very often a client will commission a painting when either it is difficult to get a decent photo of what they would like or when a memory is very special to them. It is important to remember though that I, the artist, will have not met the people or animals that I am going to paint. So in order to capture that special moment or group shot I need as clear a set of photo's as possible. It is no problem for me to work from multiple photo's. This commission is a good example of this.

My client wants a painting of her son and his fiancee with their new puppy. She was unable though to get a clear photo of the three of them together. So I am working from two photos. One of her son and his fiancee together and a separate one of the puppy. My client did, in fact give me three different photos of her son and fiancee and two photos of the puppy. I then played around with the composition using the various photos to find the most natural group composition of the three of them together.These are the two photos that I chose to use from the selection.

I then created this outline from aspects of both photo's, just shifting odd details to make the piece gel as a whole.

I am now busily painting it. It is being painted on a 16 by 20 sheet of Arches cold press paper. I am working from the photo of the son and fiancee at the moment although I am changing clothes colours to make them less formal looking (you probably wouldn't wear your best clothes with a young puppy around)

They still look older than they really are at the moment (its the white hair that does it especially on Jim as he also has a receeding hairline at the moment because I have had to take the skin tones up further so that the skin shows under the hair at the edges)  I need to finish the clothing before I can paint their hair though.

Thank you Marietta for allowing me to share the process here.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Going BIG in a special way!!!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks; I’ve finished one of the commissions and am just starting the second. I have permission to share this next one with you all and I will post more about it in a couple of days

Today though I would like to tell you about another painting I am starting.
Before I tell you about it though, I have to tell you how James Rebecca and I tried to tame the wild beast otherwise known as a roll of 44 inch wide Arches cold press!!! It’s wonderful having the flexibility of size and, as in this case, being able to paint bigger than a full sheet, but wow!!!! The curve on the paper as you unroll it agh!!!! Anyhow, it took three of us and 6 hands plus a couple of elbows and heavy objects to keep it flat enough to cut to size. I wish there had been a spare hand for one of us to take a photo. It must have been a sight to behold!

And now to the painting itself... It is going to be a portrait of Wayne Macdonald. Wayne is a very talented musician and songwriter who became a paraplegic after falling fourteen feet from a roof. He belongs to the same gliding club as my husband James and this club is also the base for a charity called Freedom’s Wings. Freedom’s Wings Canada provides people with disabilities the opportunity to fly and it has a couple of specially adapted gliders so that people with disabilities  can experience the freedom of flight in a glider and, like Wayne, learn to fly. It is well worth spending a moment looking at the Freedom’s Wings website and in particular reading some of the testimonials from disabled people that have experienced flight in a glider.

This is the reference photo I am using for my painting. It was taken last year by my husband James.

  I love the moment in time that the ref photo captures just as Wayne is about to close the canopy with the reflection of the front of the plane and beyond to the horizon in his sunglasses.

This is my outline. I have cropped in on the right but also extended the left to help create the feeling of space before him, of a journey, an adventure about to begin. It doesnt matter what is behind, for this moment in time it is all about what lays in front of him.

  It seemed such a fitting subject for a painting as my first experience of painting larger than full sheet. I hope you will enjoy sharing in my journey and learning more about Wayne and Freedom’s Wings along the way.