Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Private Class Journey 'Snow Leopard'

I do enjoy working one on one with students. In a little over 3 hours yesterday, student Terri says she came a long way and learned alot. As a teacher, I ofcourse like that result. Terri has painted in class with me before and made an enormous leap forward yesterday. Terri arrived with a traced/printed image following the EZ drawing button on my home page( What first?... she asks. On people and animals... I like to start with the eyes first because I have more patience and concentration at the very start.

One of the major keys in portrait painting is near constant and detailed referral to source material. Her reference photo was fairly small. Sometimes a magnifying glass helps when that is so.
First : the source material photo
And then the "beginning" of the ink'd eye... Lots more to do but we are on the right track.

My approach to painting an image is to get the basic overall image blocked in and then go after the detail... so after the eyes, we moved to getting some basic fur areas. Since the drawing underneath had several dark areas (spots), after Terri blocked in some subtle yellow and pale tan areas, she blocked in spots with beginning mid value blacks, followed by soft grey fur. I was very proud of Terri, she stayed calm and focused. Yeah girl!

ALMOST done, we laid strips of art paper to frame the image and better evaluate next steps...

Terri's original plan to leave out any EAR portion of this primarily "eye" portrait called for partial reconsideration. The darks of the inside of the ears, if added to the upper corners would help frame the finished image, so they were added purposely without a great level of detail.

All said and done.... both Terri and her hubby were very happy with the result.

When one gets to this stage of a painting (nearly done).. it is time to let the painters eyes rest. Terri has a few areas she wants to increase values here and there, but she is pretty close to finished. Fresh eyes bring fresh patience and objectivity and is always a good thing when finishing up details.

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