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Monday, May 17, 2010

A Work in Progress

I'm usually reluctant to show my unfinished work; but hey, this blog is for learning, teaching and sharing my joys, my woes, and some of the things I've learned along the way. I prepped the canvas for my newest painting in the "With These Hands" Series. This painting is the winner of my Open Contest for a model for the series. This painting will be called: "Love." I first sanded the canvas with a fine sandpaper, applied white gesso, and resanded. I went through this process three times to be sure the canvas would accept my oils and would provide the smoothness I like for portrait work.
Oil paintings are done the complete opposite of water colors. The darks, the shadows and shapes are placed first, and the lights are added in subsequent layers. It is the lights that give the figures life. I was afraid to show you the painting at this stage, for fear the winners would freak out! Please be patient, there is light at the end of the painting.

The shapes and forms are now ready for the final details; the face, features and hair are awaiting their proper color, details and highlights. I invite your suggestions and comments, always believing that two heads are better than one.
You are seeing this painting in an earlier stage than my little cowgirl "Wonder" which I shared with you before its completion. This is the "scarey" stage of a painting. If I don't have the painting's composition and layout correct, it will effect the details that come after. Because oils take time to dry, I will not show the painting on my next blog. I'll get you up to speed in another week.

Note the piece of wood on the bottom right and the color pattern on the bottom are not part of the painting, but part of a bench I propped the painting on for this photo.