Last updated on: Oct 20th 2012
I'm going to attempt this painting. This will be done in several stages which you can follow if you wish. I will explain each stage as we go along so feel free to paint along with me. Stage one will be the drawing stage and as class members will be familliar with, we divide this picture into a grid and work on each area.
Stage1: The Sketch
This is as far as I'm going to go for at this stage. I will concentrate on her back and hair. I am purposely leaving her face until nearer the end as I think it will be too much of a distraction. Another reason is that the more the painting progresses the easier it gets to 'compare and contrast' so that's why I am starting with the easier areas first.
Stage 2. Background and Back
I used Coerillium Blue and White for the background as it makes choosing the skin tones a lot easier when they can be contrasted with the background. The skin tones start with the base coat (a mixture of Yellow Ochre and White) The darker tones (extra Yellow Ochre with Burnt Sienna, a little Cadmium Red )were then applied over the base coat . The extra darler tones (add a little Raw Umber) are then applied where needed with the Flake White highlights on shoulders. Freckles are added but make sure to press them in to blend with skin.
Stage 3. Neck and Ear
All of the background skin should be worked on now at this stage as this will allow hair to fall over the ear and ear lobe. This is just the beginning of hair. Apply basecoat (Raw Umber, French Ultramarine, Sap Green). At the next stage, you will see how to brush in the highlights.
Softening the line
Before going into the detail around the ear, you must soften line between hair and neck, ear and outline etc. Use a square head brush and sweep evenly between both colours.
Stage 4: The Hair
Now it's getting interesting. The hair was painted in a base coat of Raw Umber/ French Ultramarine and Sap Green. Once thats done, soften the outline between hair and blue background whilst both are still wet. That way it's possible to put in the finer hair at the edges. Follow that with White/ Green bright highlights at the top of her head. Gently pull the rest of the hair over the prepared skin tones. Brush the highlights in the same direction of the hair is styled. Pull the hair over the ear with deliberate strokes. That way it will appear more natural. Apply the highlights over the rest of the hair.
At this stage I have also put in the forehead as this will be blended in with the hair. The background around the forehead is now included as forehead has to be softened again whilst both areas are still wet.
Stage5 : The Eyes and Mouth
PICTURE HERE SHORTLY
Just finishing off eyes and mouth. Jewellery needs to be enhanced. After that, I think I'm finished.
If you want to paint this.... read on. Looks intimidating but it's actually not. If you just imagine that you have opened your eyes for the first time and this is what you see. Pretend that you can only see colour, tone shape. You should then begin to see that the predominant colours are dark brown / dark green and that all the other colours seem to be placed on top of them. (Don't concern yourselves with the water until later as everything behind water needs to be dry) So. to start this painting you need to paint the entire canvas in dark brown (Raw Umber). If you use acrylic for this it will be dry in less than 30 mins.
Stage 1: Painting canvas in a dark brown acryllic. Sketch basic shape in a white chalk and then begin to place colour over the dark tones. you will need to use Raw Umber oils as well but very little. Some colours will have to melt into the darks.
Start from top with background and foreground trees.
Stage 3. Glencar Waterfall.... without the water! Use this stage to put in all of the earth texture (Raw Umber and Burnt Umber with Yellow Ochre)either side of the falls and also behind them. When these earths are dry you mix a variation of greens and drag them over the dried texture. This will give a mossy type texture. Try not to over do this . At this stage I am waiting for these colours to dry before finally applying the water and spray.
Stage 4 Finally, It's dry and the water and spray is superimposed over the background colours. Branches and nearby foliage are added at this point.
Stage 1 Sketch with charcoal. This painting will be painted with plenty of rich texture starting with the background. I've only painted something like this once before and that was a painting of Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. That was a tricky painting but this one could be trickier. But as Bob would say "Don't worry 'bout a thing, Every little thing gonna be alright".... 'hope so.
Stage 2. Starting the dreaded dreads. Not too bad though once the Raw Sienna at the back remains wet and the Raw Sienna base for dreadlocks is laid straight on topo of it. The thing to remember here is to keep your paintbrush stroke relaxed and not to be too rigid with it. It's a moment in time after all. The white highlights are put in at this stage too again whilst the base paints are wet.
Stage 3. The Coerrillium Blue looks well here as it is a direct contrast to the colour of his face. More hair and highlights at this stage. The guitar and mikes aren't really important at this stage as these are in front of him and you should always work from back to front. Beginning the face now.
Stage 4: Just a little moree done with face. I put Burned Siena outline on it as charcoal was wearing off. It can happen especially after constantly leaning over it. I will start next on guitar and work up towards his hand. I will leave the rest of his face until nearer the end as it's important to get the light right.
Stage 5: Just put in the rest of his coat and guitar with the remainder of the Raw Umber background. Will finish the guitar at the next stage
Stage 6: Finally finished.
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This is the next painting I'm going to work on. Its progress will be shown in about eight stages starting with sketch.
Sun Dec 19th. This is the canvas I will use for above. It's one metre high by 85cm. Just about to plan it out now and begin the sketch.
(Stage 1) The main guide lines are now in place. The remaining lines are painted in at the painting stage. I will be working from the top of the front wall to the outline of the woman concentrating on the many obvious and hidden colours . Once this is done it will be on to the second stage - the light emerging from the back room.
(Stage 2) Front walls and paintings needed to be done first in order that the back room with its light could be properly contrasted against these front walls. When both of these stages are in place, the final additions and highlights will be added to each stage.
(Stage 3): The first part of the back room is complete now. It is at this stage that the light must now be judged. As the front walls are almost complete, it will be easier to compare the two rooms...to see how they bounce off each other. The detail on the net curtains and extra yellow ochre tints will be added when paint is dryer. The next stage the door and panels with the wooden floor . This is where the painting starts to get interesting. The light entering the window spreads over the wooden floor and even enters the main room. I'd say this is the most important element of this work.
(Stage 4) Progress is slow . The floor in the back room is now almost complete. It will get a few more bright highlights when a little dryer to show off the light coming through the back window. There will be a few more extra touches as we near the end of this.
Today I have filled in important areas in order to establish what areas need to be lightened up and what needs to be darkened. I will have to fill in a bit more though especially the piece of furniture she is beside as well as the remainder of the rug.
Things are looking up now and everything is looking much more encouraging. I love this part of a painting as last touch-ups such as enhancing light and dark areas as well as extra highlights, creases etc can now be put in. It just goes to show that you should never ever give up on a painting as the most important paint strokes are painted at the later part of your work.
This is the stage where I now know what needs to be darkened and where the highlights have to be placed..
Hopefully this piece will be complete tomorrow evening.
It's now just the silver bowl and the remaining light tones and shadows on the near wall. Some light tones to be put on the floor facing window and some dark tones to be added to the rug.
FROM TULLY HILL RATHCORMAC COUNTY SLIGO
This photograph was taken from Tully Hill overlooking the picturesque village of Rathcormac in North Sligo. I am just starting this painting now as is but with less foreground and more sky. The progress will be shown again in about five stages. Stage one will be the plan and sketch.
Stage 1: The sketch above is done with an 'inky paint' In this case I chose some yellow ochre mixed with white spirits. I use this method as opposed to pencil because it tends to stay cleaner as you move about the painting. The graphite from the pencil can sometimes be a bit messy. That said, using pencil has it's advantages as if any mistakes occur, they can be easily erased.
Stage 2: No matter what type of skyscape you decide to paint, you must concentrate on the background first before any cloudscape or pattern can be attempted. This one I have picked in this case is a late afternoon sky, usually when the sky at its bluest. Make sure the sky is two-toned and have the lightest tone at the bottom.( In this case the sun would not be in this frame as it would be further west and this particular view is more north facing) This applies to all skys, red dawns and sunsets, greys etc. A sky has to be two toned and an intense lighter area has to be applied if the sun is in that area.
Stage 3: Now it's time to have a bit of fun with this. Begin building clouds around the light and remember that clouds tend to be at their brightest at their edge, especially the edges facing the chosen light spot. Raw Umber and French Ultramarine are used for the grey clouds. After this some purple and ochre tones may be applied, but be careful not to overdo it.
Always make sure that the clouds or patterns don't just suddenly stop at the top or edges or in this case the tops of the mountains. It's important to show that the sky is emerging evenly from behind the mountain.
I worked on this little painting on the week that we were supposed to be painting in Italy if it weren't for that volcano. So as I had some spare time on my hands I worked on this piece. It's Ben Bulben behind Lissadell beach.
Photo No 3. Ben Bulben from Kintogher in seven stages
Ben Bulben from Kintogher, Co.Sligo.
Painting: Oil on Canvas. 39" X 27"
Stage 1: A sketch of all important areas such as field lines, mountain trenches and hedgegrow was necessary in order to keep pattern of landscape in place. The sky as it's furthest away, can now be painted.
Stage 2: Start of the back and middleground. Pure colour is introduced at first. At a later stage the various mists and the pale backgrounds along with the hazy skys will be developed. The sky will be detailed when the first coat has dried.
Stage 3: 7pm Thursday Dec 10th. Still trundling along. taking a break from this now for a couple of hours. I will be putting on a base coat on the left hand foreground. This will enable me to ease in the near trees and bushes without having to worry about what is behind it.
Stage 4: Thursday 10th December at 10pm. A little more foreground to do now and then to the church, detail and highlights.
Stage 5: December 29th 6.30pm . Now comes the tricky bit. In all landscape paintings, the colours in the foreground are always more vivid than the background colours. Less white is used at this stage.The hedgegrows will be more detailed the closer you come to them.The colours of the nearer fields will not only be of basic sap greens and yellow ochres but will have several more stronger shades visible. Exaggerate these at this stage as much as you can.
Stage 6: Wednesday December 30th 2.20pm Spent a few more hours on the foreground this morning. As I am working from a limited image, I have to go now and sketch the rest of the picture from the site at Kintogher as I don't have it on that particular photograph.
Stage 7: at 4.40pm December 30 2009. Increased the sky tones and prepared the right hand side for the last of the detail which will be taken from sketches of mountain from Kintogher. Unfortunatlely, I will now have to wait until the snow clears from the face of the mountain. Could take days!!!
Final stage:- Complete - at last!
BLAZE IN FIVE STAGES
Stage 1: Beginning of sketch
I will be starting this horse ('Blaze') sometime today hopefully. As it's always advisable to work from top to bottom, I will do the drawing first and begin by painting the Raw Umber top background along with her ears. That wouldn't be a bad start.
Stage 2: Worked on this today (Tuesday 5th) for a while. There is a lot of extra toning to do on the face yet as there is several shades of sienna here. I would have prefered it if more of her left eye was visible but, unfortunatly due to the angle it's not.
Stage 3: At this stage, it's important to draw and paint the reins in. They were painted in with black acrylic. Black jesso could als have been used but the Acrylic is just as good in my opinion. The acrylic has now dried so I can continue painting in her sienna coat over the reigns unhindered, maintaining the various shades and curves evenly. The black acrylic paint as you can see remains visible underneath the sienna oil paint. The reins will be painted later on in their oil shades when the sienna is dry.
Little or no Linseed Oil should be used when painting over the reins (however tempting) as it may interfere with the acrylic paint and tarnish the sienna.
Stage 4: Coming near the end of this painting now. I have finished the stable doors last night as well as the rest of her body earlier yesterday. I will now wait for a few days for these areas to dry before attempting the reins as a steady hand is very important at this point and I need to be able to rest my hand on certain areas of the canvas. I am keeping the most difficult part until the end. Her mouth and nostrils need special attention as there is a lot of subtle shading in this area. The very last thing to do will be the final highlights and touch -ups wherever needed.
A Study of Jack Vettriano's print 'In thoughts of You'
From the road down to the Ben Wiskin Centre. (painted on site 2008)
Benbulben from Lissadell.
No 1 The Seascape we spoke about at the colour mixing classes. This beach could be anywhere in the world. Most beaches have basically the same characteristics. Just put your own middleground or background or just follow this one .
I will be using the background and middleground you would see at Mullaghmore beach. I will tale it from the photograph below and superimpose it on to this painting.
Painting No 2. VENICE
This is the second painting and I think we will start with this one first as it's easier. It's from an area in Venice called Campanile de San Giorgio dei Greci.
Stages 1 & 2 to follow around 3pm
You can copy this image now and print it so as you can use it as a working drawing.
This is a photograph of this area
Tuesday December 27th at 5pm
Plemininary Stage. The Wash
First of all, sorry about the two hour delay. I hope to have the sketch ready in about an hour. In this painting there nothing too complicated about the drawing. Remember that there is nothing specific here to worry about so you don't have to get every window etc spot on. I have painted a wash (a tint of Coerrillium Blue + white spirits) Make sure this is a very thin mix...mainly spirits as it needs to dry quickly)
I am using a 20" high X 16" width Canvas. That's a 5:4 Ratio which means I have to divide the height by 5 and the width by 4 which leaves me with 20 areas. If your areas are not exactly square...don't worry. It's not important for this exercise.
If you are using a 16 X 12 Canvas that would be a 4:3 ratio so you divide the height by 4 and the width by 3 so you will end up with 12 areas on canvas and picture. When this is done you are ready for next stage
Of course If you feel you can just sketck it without these aids...well and good.
Tuesday 27th December at 6.45pm
This is the last sketching stage and also the last of the day. As you can see I used white chalk for my grid as it doesn't interfere with the upcoming colours . I outlined it with a 'inky' mixture of Burnt Sienna and white spirits. Make sure that this is a very weak watery mixture as like the wash, this needs to dry quickly.
Everything from now will be painted on and you really shouldn't worry too much about detail etc. Your paintstrokes should be relaxed and free and not stunted.
I will be suggesting colours etc at all stages of the painting. Stage 1 of the painting we will be starting with the sky and the distant buildings on either side.
If you have any queries at any stage feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help you as best I can. Next Stage: 6pm tomorrow (Wednesday 28th December)
Wednesday 28th December at 6.55pm.
Painting Stage 1
Sorry, nearly an hour late again. The sky is painted in first making sure that the lower part of sky is brighter and the higher you go the darker it gets. (White, Coerillium Blue and Cobalt Blue)
The buildings are at their preliminary stages with base coats (Red, Yellow and White with touches of Raw Umbers and Burnt Siennas) brushed vertically to show a sense of height. This will really become apparent when we will be at the water stages later on when the brush strokes are applied horizontally.
Final stages of buildings will be added tomorrow at Stage 2
Don't forget to use ample amounts of paint. Do not spare it. You should be able to see the texture everywhere. The buildings at the front will seem to be a little darker and more vibrant as of course they are closer to us. By doing this you will get a better sense of perspective pushing the far off buildings back and the nearer ones to the fore.
Good Luck again everyone.
Thursday 29th December at 2.45pm
Painting Stage 2
I continued down through some of the middle ground on the left today with lots of the dark colours (Crimson Red + Raw Sienna with white brush strokes -mainly on the edges of buildings)
Brush strokes should appear to be 'drooping down' which should exaggerate the height of the left hand side buildings. The building on the right will have to have more paint applied and will be painted in the salmon colour but as it's so close to us will have to have additional colours applied such as Burnt Sienna etc. This building will also need to have heavier texture applied. I will explain this in more detail at Painting Stage 3
Water was started and as you will probably notice, brush stroke is applied horizontally. (Coerrillium Blue base) The reflection is painted down (just like the buildings but...The final brush stroke in water should be a horizontal one. More water detail later
Painting Stage 3 will be here at approx 6pm Friday 30th December.
Friday 30th December at 5.30pm
Painting Stage 3
This painting is almost finished. All that has to be applied now are the touch ups and highlights. The building on the left will get one more coat (brighter on the top) with a little bit of sand mixed to the paint to create extra texture which in turn brings us closer to it and further away from the distant buildings.
The flash on this photograph has distorted some of the background building colour and makes them appear whiter than they actually are. The finished photograph will be taken tomorrow in daylight.
Happy New Year to you all.
DETAILS OF THIS PAINTING TO FOLLOW
Monday January 2 2012 at 4pm
Seascape begins today before 4.30pm .Monday Jan 2nd 2012
This is a very interesting seascape. It has everything. Tone, texture, light, perspective, etc. Remember, this seascape could be anywhere, Australia, USA, Cullenamore, Mullaghmore or Streedagh maybe...It just depends on what skyline you choose to put on the horizon
(I am going to use a skyscape from the beach at Mullaghmore)
Stage 1 The Drawing
Simply choose where you want to put your horizon line. Then choose your particular background . In this painting that I have chosen it’s a few near and distant hills which are drawn above the horizon line (for height) and below the line (as it comes closer) Everything else will blend in to each other. This is all the drawing you will need to do for this painting so there may be no need for a grid as it's a simple enough drawing. A light blue wash may be used before you start. I will be using a 20" x 16" canvas.
The first thing you must do after the wash is to decide where your horizon line is, I have applied a light blue/ violet wash.
Then nearer middle ground sketched first followed by distant hills. Then work your middle ground up to the beach lines. Draw these lightly with pencil line and when you are satisfied with the sketch, mix a little Burnt Sienna with white spirits to make an inky consistancy. Paint over the pencil lines with this until you get something like above.
Thursday January 5 2012 (7.30pm)
Painting the Sky
Brush across the way with plenty of paint.
Paint this sky in roughly three areas. White at the bottom, White/Burnt Sienna in the middle and Gradually bring in your French Ultramarine / Coerrillium Blues and begin to blend top and middle and middle with bottom.
Stage 2 The Sky
Always start with the Sky and work your way down until you eventually get to the beach or what’s closest to you. Note that the sky always seems to be brighter on the bottom and darker at the top. Paint the entire sky area with a light base coat consisting of the brighter colour nearest the mountain line (in this case an ‘off white’ – that is a little burnt sienna with mostly white. After doing this ,apply some French Ultramarine Blue /a little coerrillium blue perhaps again with a tiny touch of either Burnt Umber or Raw Sienna.
It always seems to be darker in the top corners so start applying your blues from there and tone them on to the base coat. Try not to over paint as you will press in the texture too much. Try and keep the bottom of the skyscape at it's brightest.
You don’t have to worry about the clouds at this stage as they will be put in nearer the end.
Friday 6th January 2012 (4pm)
Painting the Background and some of the Middleground
I painted the mountains in first. As you may have noticed, there are various shades within the different parts of the range so the best way to approach this is to decide what is the most appropriate base colour to use. In this case its the blueish colour. If you play around with coerrillium / French Ultramarine / Raw Umber with a tinge of Burnt Sienna you will get this initial colour. Then, whilst it's still good and wet, casually start adding the brighter shades on top. Please keep your paint strokes relaxed. there is nothing worse than a stifled brush stroke.
a 'very close' up of the mountain range
The Middleground may be approached in the same way. As we are getting closer, the colours become a little more obvious. The colours I picked for my base coat here are Sap Green, Yellow and Yellow Ochre. Again just play around with these until you are happy with them and cover the entire middleground area with this mix. Make sure though that you vary the base coat mix here and not to have it all the same. Start applying Raw Umber/ Burnt Umber to the darker areas but don't paint them quite as dark (Add a little white if you need to) as you go to the furthest part of the middleground as they fade the further back they are. Let them melt in to the base coat and again, try to stay relaxed and in doing so you will keep the strokes carefree. (When you are doing the Distant hedgegrow or distant ditches...always use a straight headed brush.
If you need to ask me anything else, just text (086) 0884972 or email me email@example.com
Last Updated: March 19 2012