These photos are the basis for a large high detailed acrylic portrait to be ready for a family gathering in Belgium at the beginning of next month. I have been working on it for a while and moved it on a lot in the last month. Having been even more inspired by a visit to the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery and the Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at Tate Britain this weekend (well worth a visit if you get the chance) I have set too with even more vigour! The portrait was started by sketching the body of Mr. Rebry from one photo and borrowing the head from another for the preferred expression. I made an under-painting using Paynes grey before building up layers of different colours for the skin tones. At this point he looked very bright and patchy! By painting the background to get rid of the luminous expanse of white, the face looked less vivid and so I started painting darker colours onto the jacket. It was requested that the background be painted cream so using the greys and browns underneath I started to scumble yellowy creams over the top with some of the under-painting showing through, but I didn't like the contrast so painted another layer of warmer browns and greys over the top. After I think it was the fifth layer and having obliterated the line of his hand and jacket I decided to leave the background and concentrate on building up the painting in other areas. The face and hands went through the usual scary process from bright colours to unifying blandness and back again, each time with more detail added to build up the translucent qualities of skin. There are many more layers of paint to be applied which make all the difference to the finished portrait but these subtle changes aren't so apparent in photos so I'll leave it here for now. Keep watching - this week is dedicated purely to this portrait!
Merry Christmas (again)
10 months ago