Saturday, May 22, 2010

Anne Sat in a Chair - 1st Sitting


I have made an initial start on the large portrait of Anne Sitting.  As is usual when painting, your present work will spawn new ideas for further work and exploration.  While I was painting Anne's portrait last year, I realised that a more complete picture with her sitting in the chair would be a truer and more compelling portrait.  She habitually wears many layers of dark clothes and has these lurid orange plastic shoes. The shoes became a problem for me on the last portrait as they kept distracting my eye, and I asked her to wear different ones.  It became something of a joke between us, and we both agreed that for this painting she should wear them.




I began our first sitting by making a few preliminary drawings.  Drawing is always a good way to get to know a subject.  It doesn't matter that they are rough or crude; they are not intended to be finished artworks.  They are working drawings and you start to get a feel for where potential problems are going to be.  With this painting, the multiple layers of clothing with collars and zips, and the complex folds will be challenging to paint.




I also took a few photographs.  Even though I find photo's difficult to work from, I find them potentially usefull for recording different positioning and changing light effects.





Quite often in the past, I haven't bothered with drawing onto the canvas before jumping straight in with the paints.  Maybe because it has been so long since I have worked on a canvas this size, but I seem to have lost confidence in that approach.  So this time, I sketched in a rough drawing, using charcoal and a large brush dipped in water to correct my many mistakes.


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