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Small portrait on Belgian linen. In progress


  • First time using this support, if u haven’t tried it I think u would love it. With oils 
  • Looking good, @jeff.  Don"t touch the face any more - It's so good already. Don't want to over work it.  :)
  • @tassieguy. Thankyou so much. I wasn’t to sure on that, but I’ll take your advice with fresh eyes. 
  • Canvas is covered. But now I have to redo values on face. Ear and eyes especially. 
  • Well maybe getting close. The hair an ear aren’t good enough. I’m beginning to wonder about this Belgian linen, has anyone used it before and if so what are your thaughts 
  • You really know how to portray the essence of drama.  Sometimes it is just a matter of picking the right model.  I like!
  • @Summer Thankyou very much, I’m glad u like it, yes having the eye for the right model is key. 
    Thanks again
  • Very, very nice! Great work!
  • edited March 23
    jeff said:
    Well maybe getting close. The hair an ear aren’t good enough. I’m beginning to wonder about this Belgian linen, has anyone used it before and if so what are your thaughts 
    It's far better than the cheap cotton variety, and it tends to give a painting a more professional quality. I like to use it when I want my paintings to have that old traditional look. 
  • @Bucky Thankyou much @Leo2015 Thankyou for your advice, I did like the way the paint acted when I used my finger or brush to push the paint around. I think I’ll try another 

  • edited March 24
    jeff said:
    @Bucky Thankyou much @Leo2015 Thankyou for your advice, I did like the way the paint acted when I used my finger or brush to push the paint around. I think I’ll try another 

    All the great portraits you see in the museums by famous artists are painted on linen of one kind or another. You don't have to but it's a good idea to tone your canvas with a wash of some color before painting on it. Painting into a middle tone wash of say Raw Umber is very pleasant but you can use other colors. Some artist will paint right into that while it's still wet but you can also wait til it's dry. I use acrylic color for this because I like to paint on a dry canvas. 
  • I can see you improving with every painting @jeff. I would take heed of @Leo2015’s suggestion and think about toning your canvas.
  • Thanks again, ya @tassieguy gave me all the info on staining the canvas, I can’t explain why I work backwards with that important part of making a painting, I even took oil lessons in a studio and they made sure that was done to 
    I think I’m not getting that powerful bang when I stain canvas. I just love working on the white, but I know it’s not the way to make good art. @Leo2015 ;
  • @Boudicca Thankyou for the advice @Leo2015 Thankyou, I was wondering if u can tell me if the great paintings in the museums were painted on the cheaper canvas , say cotton, would u be able to tell or can it be achieved on inferior supports 
  • jeff, painting on white is fine!  the DMP method is fool proof for what it does, but there are other approaches just as valid.  If you began by learning and mastering watercolours, you may forever be in love with the white canvas!

     I don't want to mess up anyone's process here, so don't let these ideas steer you off course!!

    This method is virtually opposite of Mark's methodology following  these steps:  On a sealed, white canvas, and only from life, make a drawing of your subject.  It can be loose and quick or complete and detailed.  This could be anything from landscape to portrait to still life or animals.  Next, mix with thinner of choice at least three small containers of transparent primary colours and any other unique transparent colour you want to commit to using, but best to stick with the primaries and must be transparent.  Take the largest brush you've got suitable for the size of the canvas and then mix your colours in a water colour tray / pallet, USE THE DMP colour matching methods (test a colour on a piece of white watercolour paper) and apply the colour matching practice you have learned here. Don't blend and muddy your colour, don't overlap or overpaint.  AVOID at this stage the darker darks.  Only paint into mid tones.  Once the canvas is covered you will have a very high keyed picture looking like a water colour.  Next, after letting the work dry for a week AND working only from memory, oil out and then apply ONLY WHITE with a stiff brush or pallet knife in the places you want to adjust, where you want emphasis, or colour correction.  Try not to correct the original composition, just enhance.  At this stage, plan how you will add the next colour layer.  This step is very difficult.  Mix your white with French Chalk from Champagne and linseed oil.  Once this adjustment step is finished, set aside again for a week or until the white is dry.  Finally, return to your regular pallet and place in the darks, the shadows and the final corrections. DO NOT paint over the whole canvas.  Again, this is without reference.  You have to do this out of your head. You are not covering the entire canvas, but you are completing the darks.  Some paint will be opaque and some transparent or semi transparent, whatever it takes to finish the work and balance out the work.  

    As you can imagine, this is almost opposite of what Mark is teaching.  As well, not really something a less experienced art will have success with!  You have to understand watercolor painting, and have good drawing and compositional skills, AND have mastered the DMP methodology to pull this off.  You are really layering three versions of the painting one over the other to take full advantage of the brightness of the white canvas, the feeling of impressionistic, visible brush and knife work, and then the subtleties of the control of colour and the drama of the darker tones.

    At first, most of these pieces will fail and all you can do is sand them down and reuse the canvas.

    CHEERS,   Sean.
  • Great work  and greater improvement. 
  • @BOB73 Thankyou so much, I can use the encouragement lately 
  • You should know that even if you turn out what you consider a bad work of art, you learned something in the exercise and no-matter  how bad it looks, some elements of it will be good. Hopefully we improve with each additional painting but it's not guaranteed, especially when we are trying something different or new. 
  • @SeanArthur hi.  Wow I read it all but gonna read it and take a few notes. I really want to experiment with different supports , so I appreciate all your help, I’ might have to message u however on a few snags in the process 
    thanks again 
    @BOB73. I did also get this good advice from a art teacher a few years back. It’s so true , never give up is key. 
    Thanks again 
  • Jeff, yes I would be able to tell if a painting is on linen or cotton canvas. Cotton canvas will give your paintings an amateur look. 
  • jeff

    Love the portrait. 

    The plane of the ear seems to be in the same plane as the front of the face.
    Better since the ear was darkened, but I can’t not notice it now.

    Suggest you arrange things to eliminate that strong glare from behind the easel.

  • @Leo2015 Thankyou for that information, glad I know what I need to especially doing important portraits. @dencal. That’s exactly what I need to fix. Shave that ear down to match the angle , also I always use my phone for pics. Time to take that part of it more serious, Thankyou for your advice. 
  • HilaryHilary -
    edited March 25
    Very compelling , dramatic and sensual portrait. 
    Beautifully painted. 

  • @Hilary oh Thankyou I like hearing things like that. I put this one on fb and someone wanted to buy it. I gave a good price and they still want it. But I think I’m gonna hold on to it. I might not be able to match it lol.  

  • A very beautiful portrait @jeff
  • @Elize Oh Thankyou, I appreciate it. 
  • This was taken with a better camera than my phone. Hope there’s a noticeable difference 
  • @jeff ;   Really like this portrait - it's subtle and soft and a little bit intruiging. The eyes dominate, but in a good way
  • @Dianna. Oh Thankyou, I love the way u described it. I’m gonna memorize them great words.  
  • Very nice.  You have done a good job.
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