En Garde!

Tim was away for the weekend, so I decided to make the best use of the long stretch of uninterrupted time by starting and completing a painting all in one day. Before that, I worked away some more on the models painting.

more progress on models painting

more progress on models painting

Even though I spent a handful of hours on this painting over Friday and Saturday, the progress isn’t really that apparent. I lightened the skin tones and will have to go in with some shadows once they’ve dried a bit. I spent most of Saturday working on the dress on the left; defining the pattern, darkening some colors, lightening others… I can’t decide whether I should lighten everything on it individually or try a white glaze. I’ve tried white glazes in the past and they can look foggy and inconsistent, so I may just paint everything individually… again… I also painted over the red eyes because they were beginning to creep me out.

I hadn’t done one-day painting since last year and wanted to see if my still life skills had improved at all. With citrus fruits and cocktail goodies in hand, I went to work.

En Garde, acrylic on 8"x8" canvas, by Jess Lingley

En Garde, acrylic on 8″x8″ canvas, by Jess Lingley

I figured it would take a few hours, but it ended up taking the better part of the day (time well spent!). I started with a sketch, then a burnt sienna under-painting and then laid out colors over top with acrylics. I’ve been itching to do something with bright colorful fruit for awhile, so this was a lot of fun. It also had the bonus effect of making the room smell like lemons and limes, instead of turpentine and oils.

January 2011 vs June 2012

January 2011 vs June 2012

The still life on the right was done back in January 2011; it was the first portfolio piece I completed in anticipation of applying to art school! Fortunately, I kept up with painting and had enough pieces that I could leave it out. It’s alright for a first try, but lacks depth and detail. Though it was done in oils, the blending isn’t  so great, either. Looking at the piece on the right I’m relieved; it does look like I’ve improved! 🙂

Even with acrylics and fast dry times, if you’re diligent you can get some pretty nice blending by using a dry-brush technique. This involves laying some paint down with a wet brush and quickly smudging it with a dry one. The shadows on the table cloth were a challenge and I’m not sure I’m satisfied with them, but I am happy with the shading on the fruit itself. Using complementary colors for shadows really makes the colors pop, almost glow.

Throughout the week I’ll continue to work away on the models painting, which really needs a better name (suggestions?). Pretty soon it’ll be time to block in the hair, and then the entire under-painting will be covered. Exciting!