Now I know from experience that every time I start a painting I have the idea that it will be all in acrylics with some overdrawing for texture and definition – you know, I want to paint in acrylics but I start to think they are looking a little flat. Inevitably at this point of a painting I want to add richer colours and textures and create atmosphere and I have never successfully managed this with acrylics alone. So I always reach for my beloved oil sticks and this is where it gets messy and I really start to enjoy it.
(Apologies for the terribly blurry photo taken last thing at night) I really love that oil sticks give richness and vibrancy that I just cannot achieve with acrylics – but the acrylics have given me a great base to work on. I also start working into the background more and although I had previously decided on a warmer palette I begin adding really dark blues to push it back a bit. Whilst using the oil sticks I also have a table full of drawing media to hand such as marks all pencils, lead pencils, coloured pencils and pastels and this is the stage I love – creating line and edges and tension and variation. Now possibly many artists say that you should use only tone and colour in paintings but I just can’t help adding drawing media in – it is my favourite bit and for me really brings the piece to life.
Infact the picture above is from my worktable at this point of the painting. A right old mess!
So above is the finished painting – I still haven’t managed to get a decent enough photo of it – I am waiting for a duller day. I am not even sure that she is actually finished – her right arm is still bothering me so I may go back in and correct it – I just want to live with her for a week or so before I correct anything. Below are a few detail images of her as she is now showing the textures and lines.
You can really see the layers and textures of the oil paint and pencils in the face detail below.
The hand that works (at the moment the other one doesn’t)
So there we are! I hope I haven’t bored you to tears. It has actually been really interesting to me to look back and see that various stages – the first time I have ever done this and I am suprised at how many (drastic) changes were made along the way. I think I may have worked on this painting for around 25 hours so far and I as I said there may be more to do. She is also as yet un-named but that will come in time.
Thanks for reading!