Saturday, 18 February 2012

Day 17 - start of a painting

The very first layer of a painting - sometimes I use a watercolour pencil to start with (particularly with faces, where accuracy right from the start is important) but for some reason I didn't this time. Just forgot. Anyway, so my linen is covered a toned gesso, giving a mid tone to work from. Then I use raw umber diluted with turps to lay in the darks. Next I sometimes put in the highlights with white - not so much in this painting, though, partly as the gesso was lighter than normal and partly because the very lights are really pretty small shapes. As can be seen I haven't really put many very darks in, either - laziness! The whole area below her shoulders (the wall and her dress) will become darker as the painting progresses. Sometimes the next stage is a rough colour fill in, again with thinned paint. Or I might just start - with the face in this case.

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