09 May 2019

Oil Painters of America 2019 National Exhibition...and Roses in Oil

I'm looking forward to attending my first Oil Painters of America conference in a few days in Saint George, Utah, USA.  My painting "Amanda and Tubby" was juried into the exhibition this year!  Yeah!!!  It's a great opportunity to go meet and mingle and see what the organization is about. 

Amanda and Tubby, 18x24", oil on linen

I am also working on a figurative piece that includes roses in the design.  I've never painted flowers, so got a bunch of pink roses and went to work. Painting something like a flower allows for lots of experimenting with brushwork and values and shape design.  Much more freedom than when painting a face or figure, which requires a very high degree of accuracy.  It was a pleasure not thinking about getting a good likeness with these rose 'portraits'.

Here are a few practice oil sketches. The pink is quinacridone or permanent rose.  The paintings are all 6x6" up to 6x8" on gessoed untempered hardboard.

19 February 2019

Fresh Portrait Commission - Jack at Three

Today's post is a portrait commission I just completed.  This is 3-year-old Jack.  The challenge here was to keep the painting of this little guy from becoming too sentimental and sweet and slick.  My strategy was to keep the paint application somewhat blocky.  Pulling lots of straight strokes and avoiding blending brushstrokes together where possible. And trying always to leave well enough alone.

Jack at Three, oil on linen, 16x20"

Before starting this portrait, I did a charcoal and white chalk drawing to familiarize myself with the focal point, Jack's face.  I also did a color study (1/4 size) for client approval.

Jack, preparatory sketch, charcoal and white chalk on paper

Jack, color study, 8x10"

And I thoroughly mapped out the values I would use for the final painting.  I'm big on making sure the values are correct.  These do not come from the photo reference, which is always incorrect.  I decide how I want the piece to appear and adjust the values based on that.  In this painting, the diffuse light is coming from a window across the room.  To convey that, I limited the value range on the face to 4 steps (values 4-7 on my 10-value scale).

During the painting phase, I applied 3 layers of paint, which are shown below.

The first was a quick covering of the big shapes in average color/value paint mixtures.  This gets the canvas covered and provides a good background for the next step.

Layer 1: Stating the big average shapes

The second layer starts the modelling the form to produce dimensionality and depth in the picture plane, using all the tricks of the trade, at least all the ones I know.

Layer 2: Modeling the forms and creating depth

Finally, in the 3rd layer I'm adding details like highlights and accents, finessing the edges and adding color notes. I'm also correcting drawing mistakes, for example: the shapes of the eyes and lips.  

Layer 3: Adding details

After the painting rests for a few days, I take one more look for adjustments before signing it.

Here is the finished painting in the frame selected by the client.

If you are in the market for a fine art portrait as a gift or family heirloom, please contact me at candacexmoore at gmail.com to discuss your needs. 

05 November 2018

New Portrait - Beauty and the Beast

First let me do my pitch...I'm always looking for portrait commissions.  It's what I do.  Please contact me if you are interested in commissioning a painting or drawing.  I work with clients near and far.  View examples of my work at my website or on my Instagram feed.

On to the post-

Beauty and Beast, oil on linen, 24x18"

This is a labor of love, a portrait of my daughter and her cat.  I aimed to create an intimate feeling  by filling the picture plane with the figures, making them feel close, and through the direct eye contact of the viewer and both subjects.

I relied on contrasts to add interest and encourage the viewer to linger and take another look. Examples of contrast are the textures of the smooth sheet vs. rough carpet, the warm/cool color pairs in the carpet vs. sofa, in her warm hair vs. cool highlights, in the warm setting vs. cool figures and in warm shadows vs cool lit areas.  I also tried to create a little mystery by losing edges between the forms of the 2 focal figures.

I'm including a progression to show the painting stages.  Please click on the label "progression" at right to learn more about my process from previous posts.

And finally, here it is framed.  The right frame always kicks it up a notch.  What do you think?

Beauty and her Beast, framed