| 08 December, 2013 10:33
The finished "Brother's" portrait. The stellar personalities of these two boys inspired me the whole way through this painting. I couldn't put it down and I couldn't wait to work on it every day. I think the high keyed color communicates their youth and I think the casual style of their clothing is appropriate for an oil sketch. Even though they did not pose this way for the photogragraph, and I composed this from nearly 100 pictures, they look comfortable here in their portrait.
The younger brother with details in the eyes, nose and mouth.
Here the "Brother's" portrait is almost finished. Beyond this stage I'll spend a whole day just painting the eyes and adding a few finishing touches. Look for the differences, especially in the lights, the highlights and the highlight accents.
I had wanted to finish the portrait "Alla Prima", in one layer. But two heads are more complex than one, and I decided to keep adding layers instead,daily, in a wet over dry process. In this layer, I 've reconstructed the older boy's head from the form of the skull to the last details of highlight and highlight accent. I chose a better color for the polo shirt, a color called Aureoline. The paint is thick. It is very clear now that one head is "ahead" of the other in terms of developement.
Just like I blocked in the shirts, I blocked in the portrait pinks, starting with the shadows and then the middle tone lights.
Going into color, I had some ideas about how I wanted the finished portrait to look. Blue background, pink and hay colored polo shirts and orangy pinkinsh skin. I blocked in the colors all around the faces first.
Step four of the open grisaille is dedicated to those few specks of darkest darks that make it easy to read the picture. I especially like to mark the pupils as the darkest darks. It is important here to leave the white canvas where form is revealed in the light. The clean white canvas is an absorbant foundation for the paint layers that will be added thickly and deliberately in the alla prima portrait.
Step three of the open grisaille would best be called the block-in. Form is revealed through the light and shadowed areas in the drawing. The values are kept as close as possible here in order to save the very darkest darks untill the end.
Step two of the open grisaille involves chiseling away at the features, describing the form of the skull with a slightly darker gray, defining the collar of the shirt to expose the gesture of the neck.
The first step to the "Alla Prima Portrait" is composing within the square in a way that the two boys will fit together in the right scale for the canvas, which is 18 X 18 inches. Here I've started drawing the envelope of their heads in a light gray with a #12 Filbert.
What's on my easel today? The finished study for "Brothers". Although I can't wait to start painting it in full color in oils on canvas, I actually want to draw this again. I will draw it with a brush, on the canvas, in three tones, called the grisaille.
What's on my easel today? Two gorgeous faces that I get to paint! The double portrait is indeed fascinating because of the resemblance between the two siblings and the dynamics of their fondness for each other. These two boys are ages 3 and 6. I took 100 photos of them together and selected two that were the best to work from because yes, they were very excited about the photo shoot and yes, they were squirming around like healthy little kids do. So after three photoshop color renderings I starting practicing their faces in charcoal today.