Monday, January 17, 2011

How to paint a portrait in oils "Joy Anna de Lyte" 10"x8" oil on masonite panel

First I started with doing a couple of preliminary drawing portraits.

This one is pencil on paper.
 Compressed charcoal and wash on watercolor paper.
After I was satisfied with the drawings.  (It's kind of like a rehearsal.) I moved on to a small 10"x8" masonite panel that I coated with linseed oil, galkyd resin and burnt umber paint.  I applied this goop with a rag.

Then I "sketched" out the face with burnt umber on the panel with a brush.  I focused on the biggest dark masses.

I then began to wipe out most of the lights with a rag and redefined the darks and redrew in some areas with some more opaque oil paints.
The darkest areas are actually a mixture of lamp black (NOT ivory) alizarin crimson, scarlet and cadmium red medium paint.  It's actually more of a purple black than straight dark.  This mixes with the underpainting of burnt umber and makes some beautiful mixtures of tones.
Next I began mixing this stuff with cadmium orange to make the dark flesh tones.

See the Galkyd on the left and the mix of orange and my black mixture to its right.  I then painted in most of the larger dark masses with this modified orange.

Moving into the lighter areas I mix in white (soft mixing white by Winton) and create a series of flesh tones.
It's sort of a paint by numbers operation at this point where I work from dark to light but mass in the largest and most general tones with the largest brush I have.  My teacher Irwin Greenberg used to say that "Big painters use a big brush."
Blend edges redefine tones, start working out smaller details.
Redefine the drawing using the mixture start working with a smaller brush (about 1/2")
Redefine details of face, brush in some cadmium red light to pink out the cheeks and nose.
The background is a modified payne's gray with some yellow ochre.  My wife says it's green.  I think it's gray.
The hat is burnt sienna.
Here's the finished painting.


 
Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:
The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
December 1 - January 6
Reception: Saturday December 3, 2011 5PM-8PM 
Show up in costume and get into the photobooth!  You may end up being my next painting!
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/