Painting Demo: Stage 2

Welcome back! Today I'd like to begin by talking about my inspiration for this painting. As I mentioned on Friday, this piece started as a mental picture--but you may be wondering what inspired that image in the first place. For me, inspiration comes from a variety of sources: a particular lighting situation, a personal experience or maybe a beautiful aspect of God's creation, to name a few. My motivation for this piece, however, came from my two friends Sydney and Jackson. These are two of the most charming, good-natured and well-behaved kids I have known. I just knew they would make perfect models! In real life, Sydney and Jackson are siblings, but the characters in my composition are not necessarily related.

Life Painting Session

Painting from life is very important to artists because it allows us to copy colors and tones that a camera cannot capture. If possible, I work entirely from life. However, some subjects like leaping horses, moving vehicles and children (even the best-behaved ones) are impossible to paint completely from life. In such cases, I paint from photos. Though if at all possible, I still strive to spend at least a bit of time observing and painting my subject from life. I'll do this on a smaller canvas like the 8" x10"'s shown below. The goal of the life painting session is not to capture a person's likeness but to document the accurate tones, temperatures and colors that a camera would fail to record. By capturing this vital information in paint, I have an accurate guide by which to judge my colors and tones while painting the final piece from photos.

Sydney and Jackson were very agreeable to pose for me to paint them, and I tried to be as accommodating as possible. I painted them separately, limited the time to one hour each and encouraged breaks. I also let them watch movies on a laptop while posing.

One-Hour Life Sketch • Oil • 8" x 10"
One-Hour Life Sketch • Oil • 8" x 10"


Photo Shoot

Before the the life painting sessions, I made sure to take plenty of photos of the kids in their poses. I never wait until the end of a session to photograph models, because by that time they always look tired. Posing is hard work! Of course, Jackson is supposed to look tired, so I guess it wouldn't have mattered for him!

Jackson Photo Reference

Sydney Photo Reference
Thanks for joining me! Check back tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th, to see my digital value study (yes, I said "digital") and... drum roll please... some actual painting on my final canvas! Can you believe it? And if you missed Stage 1 of this demo, be sure to scroll down to the previous post.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. Good to see a painters process and read their thoughts.


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