Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monochromatic Portrait

Once upon a time I used to paint things other than walls and furniture.  Things like canvas, with oils.  But the mess and the time means that kind of painting is on hold.

Except for when Niall asks for a picture of one of the kids for his birthday.  I love painting, but seem to stress out over the painting and getting the colors right.  To counter the stress, I eliminate the color element.  And just use one tube of color and one tube of white oil paint.

There are four basic steps.  

1.  Take a photo.  The more contrast and better the lighting, the better.

2.  Draw, sketch, or in this case trace (with a projector) the picture onto a canvas.  I also adjusted the photo, upping the exposure and shadow and printing it out in black and white.  (Or black and pink, since we're out of white paper.)  The main thing is to get the different shapes the shadows make.

3.  Set up a palette with a spectrum of tints and shades from darkest to lightest.  Then start painting the darkest shadows, slowly working to the lightest until there's only white left.

4.  Keep working on the painting until it's finished.  Or, as is the case with pretty much every picture I've ever painted, finished enough.

I did manage to keep the painting a secret for weeks.  But slowly I slipped up the surprise.  (Come on, finding time when Niall wasn't around and the girls were sleeping was pretty rare.)  First I left out the mineral spirits.  Then one night it was the paint brushes.  And a few days before his birthday, he left the house and walked in on me pretty much finishing the picture.

Guess what?  We got planning permission yesterday for a loft conversion.  Hoping to start it before the end of this month.  More later.

1 comment:

Sylvia Bunker said...

It's beautiful. Love you friend.