Web Log and Painting Diary
5-31-07: Au Naturel
Using the #2 Creative Mark Ebony Splendor round and the smallest scriptliner brush, I finished the grasses that cover part of her left thigh. I realized I was piddling with them. I had to do several layers to undo that look. I added more light to the face and made the indentation on the left arm more gradual. Using a small bristle brush I added red flowers and signed it in red. As usual the copyright symbol is especially hard for me. I'm done. Yea!!!
5-30-07: Au Naturel
To settle the lady down into the painting, I painted grasses around and over parts of her thighs. I used a larger and a smaller script liner brush and a ½ inch foliage brush. Jerry Yarnell manages to do effective grass in one layer, but for me it takes several. I'm assuming it's related to the consistency of the paint. Only once in a while do I get it just right. And I have to remember not to make the foreground too detailed or it detracts from my subject. Tomorrow I will judge how well I did.
5-26-07: Au Naturel
I worked on shaping and highlighting the lips as well as making the face more 3 dimensional. I also worked on the eyes a little, adding the highlight. I also added a few highlights to the hair.
5-25-07: Au Naturel
In today's session I worked on blending the skin tones all over the body. For the legs I used the number 10 bristle brush. It worked pretty good...it kept me from the number one sin - piddling. It gives a broader stroke. I added more shading to the armpit. I worked a little on the face, using a #1 Grumbacher 4720 Bristlette brush. It works pretty good for adding dabs of color around the eyes. I need to rework the lips and work more on her nipples. The color for the lips and nipples is the same. I did a little, but I need to give them more careful attention.
5-23-07: Au Naturel
Using the same brushes that I used yesterday plus a Manet #2 sable I worked on shaping the body, defining the edges and trying to shape the left armpit area. Since it's pretty whited out in the photo I'm going by, it's hard to get it to look right. I used the same colors as yesterday, in variation.
5-22-07: Au Naturel
Using the small scriptliner brush, a Creative Mark #4 flat synthetic sable - the beat up one so I can scumble with it, a #2 bristle brush and a #1 Grumbacher 4720 Bristlette brush I began working on the skin tones, including the face. The face was too dark compared to the rest of the body so I lightened and shaped it with cadmium yellow light and white. On the body I added Indian Yellow to the yellow and white, with a touch of some of the skin colors I used yesterday. (When I'm done for the day I mist the leftover paint mixtures and cover them with a plastic lid, all inside the sealed palette box.) I added some blue and burnt sienna to the skin tones to create the darker shade and began shaping. I also thickened the gal's left forearm. It's the one I'm ad-libbing. I have to keep experimenting so I can get it right. Finally it was time to let it set so I didn't end up wiping some off. One the key things I've found that helps blend the skin tones is a little saliva on the tip of a finger.
5-21-07: Au Naturel
One of the things I've noticed in photos of people are the outlines along the edges. Depending on the lighting, various parts of their faces, bodies and clothes have different colored outlines. It sets them apart from the background. Capturing this outline in acrylics can be difficult. You don't want it to "look" outlined. Plus in acrylics it takes several layers to produce a good edge to something. So I paint an outline in whatever are the appropriate colors. Then I set about blending into it. With the edge of a nude body for example parts of it can be edged in blue. But the body is anything but blue. So I edge it and then paint the skin tones over part of the outline so I almost wipe it out. I did that tonight, not very successfully. I also added shading and highlights to sections of the body. I don't think I achieved much. I used a script liner brush, Creative Mark synthetic flat sables and a # 4 flat bristle brush. The bristle brush didn't work very well.
5-20-07: Au Naturel
Using a #4 flat synthetic sable and my smallest liner brush, I layered some grass in the foreground.
5-15-07: Au Naturel
I worked on patching the area where the hair had been and around the body, blending it in with the background. I used a # 4 and a #10 bristle brush and a # 4 flat synthetic sable. I also added grasses back in. It looks okay except on the top the head. I need to touch that up more.
5-13-07: Au Naturel
I repainted the hair and highlighted the face a bit. In addition I worked on shading the body - covering over the background grasses and such that showed through.
5-12-07: Au Naturel
I wiped out the lower part of her hair and some from the top back. It was too blocky.
5-10-07: Au Naturel
I began by narrowing my subject's face with shading and hair. I also toned down the highlighting on the face. It was rounder than I had planned. I changed the hair color to brown, wiped out the hair that stuck out and painted over it with hair that draped sort of down the outer edge below the armpit. I also worked on her right arm, trying to figure out how it would look beneath the hair. In the picture I'm going by, more of the arm is covered by hair. I'm using a book called Realistic Figure Drawing by Joseph Sheppard for an idea of how the body and limbs, etc. would look in different positions.
5-8-07: Au Naturel
Today's painting session focused on adding layers to the body and the face. I had to carve down the armpit area on her left side - it was too bulky. Armpits are hard, especially when the picture I'm going by is sort of whited out - overexposed. I used Alizarin Crimson, burnt sienna, ultra marine blue, a touch of Indian yellow and white in varying combinations to achieve the different shades. In places I can still see the grass through the body, so it needs more layers. For broadly covering the body, this time I used a #10 bristle brush, sort of scumbling on the paint and smoothing it with a finger. Jerry Yarnell is right, sometimes the bigger brushes work best...it keeps a person from piddling. I also used a number three bristle brush, the ½ inch and # 3 flat Ebony Splendor synthetic sable brushes by Creative Mark and the smaller liner brush for the face. At this point I really don't know what consistency is best for the paint to be for the under layers of the body. After I finished painting for the evening, using a white charcoal pencil, I drew some waves in her hair to see how that looks. It does look better. The hair is now black, but maybe it would look better brown with streaks of red and blonde. In one picture I am going by, the person has long layered hair. I think I need to add a few strands of longer hair on her right side, kind of swirling around her right breast so it doesn't look like she has a bad hair cut.
5-7-07: Au Naturel
Using white charcoal I drew in the facial features, then using the liner brush I painted them in - at least enough to say she has a face. I left the paint to dry, so I wouldn't inadvertently wipe the features out. In the initial stages of acrylic, the paint sometimes needs to dry over night. It can seem dry right after I paint it, but it comes off easily if I'm making other changes. By the next day, the problem is gone.
5-6-07: Au Naturel
First using a liner brush I painted burnt umber over the white charcoal drawing I did yesterday. Outlining it in burnt umber was at the suggestion of Lee Hammond's book, Paint People in Acrylic. Lee Hammond is an excellent artist and has a number of helpful books on painting. Using a ½" flat Ebony Splendor 392 synthetic Wash brush by Creative Mark, I blocked in the woman's body. This brush worked pretty good. For colors I used Alizarin crimson, a touch of burnt sienna, white gesso and a touch of yellow. I also underpainted the hair with Payne's Grey. I did okay in drawing in the face with the burnt umber, but when it came to underpainting it, I had a hard time with the lips. It's a matter of not having a picture I can go by. I have to combine several. Ultimately I wiped out the face. At this point it has no features. I'll try again tomorrow, once everything has had time to dry and set.
5-5-07: Au Naturel
I added a few more strands of grass around where the woman is sitting. I used a Creative Mark Ebony Splendor ½" flat sable brush to make blades of grass. It worked quite well for creating a fatter base and coming to a point. I had to thin the paint several times to get the right consistency to make a good point to the blades of grass. Then I drew in an outline sketch of the woman.
5-4-07: Au Naturel
I underpainted my new painting of a nude woman. The background is tall grass with sun streaming down. I used Jerry Yarnell's instruction for his painting, Apple Harvest. It's an excellent tape for learning to do the background for grass. I started out with the hake brush and cadmium yellow light with a gesso background. Gradually I added bright yellow-green, hookers green, burnt sienna and dioxazine purple at an angle like grass would grow. Once that was lightly blended, I took the chisel edge of the hake brush and drew it up the wet paint creating grassy blades. Then using a liner brush I painted light and dark colored grass. After that I used a number six bristle brush and daubed in some seed pods. On the bottom of the canvas I scumbled in hookers green, burnt sienna and dioxazine purple to create the grassy base for the nude to sit on.
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