Sunday 23 February 2020

23/02: 3 Months Later! Progress on the CP Portrait.

I'm embarrassed at the huge gap between posts.   My last post was just before we set off for India on what was probably the most exciting of all our trips to that wonderful country.   It took a lot of planning as we were travelling independently and had very specific festivals and locations to visit/experience.   It all went according to plan and we had a brilliant time.

Since then we've had Christmas and New Year and then we went to our holiday home in the Canaries for 5 weeks so I've had no time for art.

We got back to the UK last weekend and had to 'hit the road running' as we were on grand-daughter minding duties during half term. 

I finally got round to doing more work on the CP portrait I started last year.    Its been a bumpy road.  I've never spent this long on a picture before and I think its really that I know the lady well and I don't think the photograph her husband selected is terribly flattering ... but its the one he likes, taken at their wedding a few years ago.  

This is a crop of the ref. photo

The first work-in-progress photo (and sadly all photos have been in poor light during the gloomy winter days).

Done on white paper (not grey/green as the photo suggests)

WIP (2)

WIP (3)  

Because the poor light is distorting the colours, its difficult to see but I wasn't able to make the beads on the hair band/fascinator stand out.   Really, at this stage I realised I should have omitted the hair ornament or started the drawing on a darker coloured paper.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

WIP (4) Hubby (David) was adamant I shouldn't start the portrait again.   He said my problem is that I'm not totally happy with the ref. and redoing the portrait won't help that.    I think he's right.   Its a nice clear ref. but I personally think this lovely lady looks prettier with her hair worn down.  But its not my choice.

So .... with nothing to lose I decided to darken the background - such a slow process when using coloured pencil.    I'm actually using watercolour pencil (dry) and had toyed with the idea of adding water afterward to darken/strengthen the background but I chickened out in case the colour 'bled' into the skin tone section where I wouldn't be able to remove it.

WIP (5)

I was still unhappy with it so decided to add another layer of colour to the background and this time I used Polychromos - I think I prefer the darker colour and it more closely reflects the background colour of the ref. photo.     

As a result of darkening the background I had to strengthen the skintone colours as well.

For the moment I'm calling this (almost) finished.  

I can see things to be tweaked but I know I could keep on and on adjusting bits so I've put it into a mount and frame and tucked it away in a corner.   It will travel out to Fuerteventura with me in a couple of weeks time - I'm sure I'll have made further changes to it by then.

Apologies for the bit of glare from the glass