15 January 2014

My Portrait Process: Fourth Step is the Final Painting

Happy 2014.  Always good to start another year.  Hope you had a nice break.  I did, however, I am happy to resume normal function and get back in the studio.

Back in November, I was working up a series of posts describing my portrait painting process, based on a portrait of my friend's son, Kirk.  Today, I end the series with the fourth step...the final painting.

Twenty (Portrait of Kirk), 24x18", oil on linen

For commissioned portraits, I paint indirectly...building the painting up in layers, allowing each layer to dry before proceeding.  It's easier to get a decent likeness imo (compared to direct painting), and it allows the creation of transparent flesh tones.  I won't describe my actual method here, it would be very long-winded and boring.  However, for your interest, I recommend Virgil Elliott's book "Traditional Oil Painting" (see chapter 6).  The method I followed here was an approximation of the Venetian method.

To summarize, my 4-step portrait process includes the value study (top left), the color study (top right), the underpainting (bottom left) and the final painting (bottom right).

It is done................

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