Archive for the ‘portrait’ Category

Duplicitous work in progress 2

June 5, 2010

Did a lot of research and planning for the clothing on this one, this is after the second session on the dress:

Duplicitous - work in prog 2

Duplicitous - work in prog 2

I’ve found it really difficult to get hi-res photos of the kind of dress I want, to help me figure out how to paint it…I went to a local costume store and they wouldn’t let me take a couple pix so I kept scouring the internet. I collected about 30 photos of dresses and thought I would try to use ideas from a few for my painting. I picked a couple main ones I thought I could learn from and drew them, trying to figure stuff out and build my “drapery vocabulary”. 🙂 After I felt a little more comfortable with the way the fabric might fold and bunch up and how the light should look on it, I tried a full-size study that I would use later with my painting…I just used a 4B pencil. The best ref I had was at an angle so I imagined what it might look like from the front, etc. I had some scraps of fabric I bought but I didn’t find them too useful for this. After doing a lot of this I felt a bit of an epiphany this morning and really felt like I was “getting it”, quite a nice feeling after a lot of minor frustration. 🙂

Probably will put a big ribbon on the dress and maybe some lace…then I need to glaze color over the faces and finish the hair, maybe change the blue background, etc…still have a while on this one. And I thought it would be a quick project, ha!

dupl-studies-8001

Some of the studies I did

dupl-wip-img_1561-800

While workin'

Conté drawing of the Virgin Mary after Leonardo da Vinci

May 6, 2010

I just recently started messing with Conté crayons and tried drawing this Leonardo piece a few times. This one is 8 x 10 inches, conté crayons on lightly textured paper:

The Virgin Mary in conte crayons, after Leonardo da Vinci

The Virgin Mary in conte crayons, after Leonardo da Vinci

I like using Conté! It’s not as messy as I first thought, and I think it’s really well-suited to these classical-style drawings. Being able to add highlights is important to me, and is something that I miss when drawing with pencil. I also like being able to blend with my fingers and re-work areas many times. On the drawing above I toned the paper first with sanguine Conté and blended it with a paper towel.I’ve found that I need to work in a larger scale than I normally do, and that the paper texture really matters. I definitely plan on doing a lot more with these and am happy I have a new medium to play around with 🙂

New painting work-in-progress – Duplicitous

April 12, 2010

One of the paintings I am currently working on is below…it’s tentatively called “Duplicitous Diandra and Devious Deirdre”. I’m working with oil on panel and doing a dead layer underpainting for this. I’m definitely having some flashbacks to my Petrus Christus master study and have also been trying to channel some Hans Holbein the Younger as well 🙂

Here’s what I have so far (detail):

"Duplicitous" work in prog April 11 2010

"Duplicitous" work in prog April 11 2010

This is the drawing I did for this, which I transferred onto the panel:

"Duplicitous" sketch

"Duplicitous" sketch

Some recent sketches and stuff

April 12, 2010

I’ve been drawing a lot over the past few months, but although I upload a lot of it to Facebook I haven’t put much on here. Here’s a couple things I think are cool-looking.

I did a lot of studies of hair ringlets, mostly for a new painting I am working on but also ’cause they are cool and interesting to draw:

Studies of hair ringlets

Studies of hair ringlets

I recently bought some books on figure drawing and anatomy for artists and have been working on learning some stuff…these are based on drawings by Joseph Sheppard in his book “Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists”:

Anatomy drawings, after Joseph Sheppard

Anatomy drawings, after Joseph Sheppard

I’ve been experimenting with drawing on toned paper (mostly blue) and using normal HB graphite pencils plus white colored pencils…pretty fun and I like the way it looks especially with the white on the blue. Hard to take photos of though.

Here is something I did based on a painting by Jan van Eyck, again using the blue and white technique:

Van Eyck drapery

Van Eyck drapery

My version of ‘The White Hat’ by Jean-Baptiste Greuze is complete

March 2, 2010

Phew, I have finally finished my version of a Jean-Baptiste Greuze painting, “The White Hat”. I started this way back in June of 2009, and finished it in late February 2010. This is oil on canvas.

The White Hat - after Greuze

The White Hat - after Greuze, by Airn LeBus. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, 2010.

The White Hat - after Greuze (detail)

The White Hat - after Greuze (detail)

I’m not sure if there was an issue with my original drawing or if something happened whilst painting, but I started to realize the facial features were really out of place and spent the last several sessions altering and moving things around, even completely painting over an eye that had been nearly finished. It was difficult but I’m glad I changed it because it looks much better now.

I used a direct technique, no underpainting…the paint is pretty thin, and very matte/non-glossy at this point (I might oil it out and/or varnish it later). If I were to do another painting in this vein, I might try painting more thickly, and with more contrast between the darks and lights. I do like the soft feel this has though, I think it works with the subject matter and color scheme.

I had some difficulties with the source photo I used, it seemed inaccurate contrast-wise and was missing a lot of detail that I had to try and “make up” or guess. The hat and clothing and stuff was also kind of difficult to figure out from the photo, and I tried to do my own version of some of it but really at my skill level should have probably just stuck to what Greuze had done. In any case I am happy with the overall results and definitely learned a lot and have a nice painting to hang on my wall.

The total time I spent on painting only was about 24 hours, usually in 1.5-hour sessions. In addition to that there was the drawing, preparing the canvas, transferring the drawing, and stuff like trying to figure out how to fix the features when they were awry (which took a pretty good chunk of time).

Lila Lee from Lemora (Rainbeaux Smith) miniature painting is complete

February 28, 2010

I finished this small painting of Lila Lee from the film Lemora a few days ago. The actress Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith played the part in the movie.

I started this in September of last year, working on it pretty infrequently; only about 8 sessions of painting over a six-month period. I always have a lot of projects going at once…

Here’s the finished painting:

"Lila Lee" by Airn LeBus. Oil on wood panel, 2.5 x 3 inches, 2010.

"Lila Lee" by Airn LeBus. Oil on wood panel, 2.5 x 3 inches, 2010.

Initially I was going to paint this with a raw umber dead layer underpainting and glaze color over it, but it was looking too dark and I liked the way it was already, so I just added some color to it and left it as-is.

Greuze study update 3 and 4

February 11, 2010

I think this is almost done, but I’m not sure. I might decide to make some fairly major changes, I am still debating.

Greuze White Hat study work in progress

Greuze White Hat study work in progress

*Update 02-14-10: I did decide to make some big changes, and altered the nose, mouth, and other stuff. Here’s the current stage of the painting, maybe it’s really almost done this time:

White Hat study - work in progress 02-13-10

White Hat study - work in progress 02-13-10

White Hat after Greuze – update 2

December 29, 2009

Still working on my Greuze study, The White Hat. Here’s where I am after tonight’s session:

White Hat WIP 12-29-09

White Hat WIP 12-29-09

This is the biggest painting I have done so far, but it’s still only 16×20 inches. Maybe I am fairly close to wrapping this one up? This has progressed pretty speedily…I think I have spent about 12 hours on this, not counting the drawing part.

Lila Lee miniature (update 2)

December 13, 2009

Here’s the most recent version of my Lila Lee painting:

Lila Lee WIP 12-13-09

Lila Lee WIP 12-13-09

By the way, if you notice a similarity between this and my new version of Alice’s Picnic in Wonderland, that’s ’cause I used the same person (Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith) as inspiration for my Alice redo…I thought she totally fit the bill of Alice 🙂

Lila Lee from the film Lemora miniature oil – work in progress

November 24, 2009

I’m currently working on my third miniature portrait…this time it’s Lila Lee from the film Lemora. The actress who portrayed her was the late Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith.

Lila Lee from Lemora

Lila Lee from Lemora

This is oil on wood panel and I’m painting the face in a raw umber dead layer but using color on most other stuff. I will glaze over the monochromatic underpainting once I think it looks correct.

I’m also using her as a reference to re-paint the face on my recent Alice in Wonderland painting…she is perfect for Alice!

Oh, here is the initial drawing I did for this…it’s unfinished:

lila-drawing

lila-drawing