The portrait of this lovely couple was started a while ago and has gone through quite a few stages already. First I played around with the cropping of the photograph on my laptop and made sure the composition and sizing worked when I included their beloved dog. When we had agreed the composition I sketched the outline onto a 16 x 20" deep edge box canvas. I blocked in the background with a warm mix of burnt sienna and cadmium red and started painting skin tones and the dog's face as well as the main shadows in the hair and an outline of their features. I wasn't sure at this stage how much pattern to include on the shirt so painted a few stripes, keeping them vague whilst deepening some of the shadows. I added more colour to the background and started to build the painting in layers of different glazes using different sized brushes to keep the outer areas loose and the faces more detailed. Having painted the main tonal values including their clothing I united the picture with a warm glaze. This intensified the colour and gave the skin tones a summery glow but also had the effect of strengthening the background too much. So to bring the couple forward I striped in mixtures of payne's grey with cooler blues and greens. I wanted some of the red undertones to show through in places to keep the warm depth but it has also balanced the picture better. Now I am concentrating on the detail in their faces, ensuring I get the shadows and shapes right so keep watching...!
Merry Christmas (again)
11 months ago