Friday, February 8, 2013

A Portrait Of Jeff

It's been awhile since I've done a portrait, even from a photo.  This is from the Dan Edmondson Art Masters Program and is a photo supplied by Dan.  The support is a commercial cotton canvas pre-stretched and prep'd.  I added one coat of Golden acrylic gesso to get the canvas a bit smoother and to reduce the absorbancy.  It worked fairly well, but in the future I'm going to begin to use oil based primer for the final coat.  I didn't have any already prepared and it takes about a week for the oil based primer coat to be ready for paint....which means planning ahead, not something I'm real good at.

The background was put in with a turpy wash of Raw Umber,  Rembrandt Olive Green and a little Transparent Oxide Red.  There's a little Ivory Black in there too.  After the portrait was blocked in I added another, more opaque layer to the background immediately around the head, losing a lot of edges in the process.  I'm not crazy about how the background came out, but I think I learned a few things that will help next time.

 The head was "massed in" with a shadow color rather than my more typical approach of drawing in the shape and features with a brush.  Lights were added and then it became a process of working back and forth between light and dark to find a balance and to get the features defined.  he flesh tones are Terra Rosa with white and, in most cases, some Olive Green in varying degrees.  Total time is about five hours.  After I took the photo, I saw several things that need attention, but for now, I'll consider this study lesson done.  It's time to move on to something else.   

Jeff    Oil on canvas  Approx.  18" x 12" 


  1. Bruce you are constantly amazing me with your paintings. This portrait just knocked me out. What a wonderful portrait and thanks so much for the materials used. Excellent!

  2. I followed your link from another location and am glad I did. Lovely work here. I especially like this portrait study.

  3. Thank you Diana. I'm glad you happened by. I see you are a portrait painter as well, so your comments are especially appreciated!