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I've just started painting Jeana.  I'm loving every minute of it. It's SO NICE to be painting something that isn't PINK.  I have given myself until the end of May to finish it. I've painted this much in two days, so I reckon I'll do it. Isn't she beautiful. I took this photograph 35 years ago. I hope the dark blackish background doesn't cause too many problems when I get to it. My friend doesn't know I'm doing this painting, so part of the pleasure is the anticipation of her surprise. This will be one of the few times I've posted when I haven't had a problem.  :)
dencalBoudiccaPaulBtassieguyRichard_PMichaelDArtGalRich_ASummerBOB73Bobitalyanweshaclare19Kodiakwood[Deleted User]Candora[Deleted User]


  • Dianna

    Looks good.


  • I have to sign Lucia 2 before I give it away.  I HATE signing my canvases.  Would it be poor form to sign it in biro? or some such? I would be very interested in your comments.
  • Dianna

    Use the other end of your paintbrush to sign into wet paint with a dry, contrasting underlayer (Sgraffito).
    Practice and develop a standardised, confident signature that is appropriate for the canvas size.
    Initial and surname with optional year is fine, but so to are initials or a readable logo.
    Alternately, a rigger is a useful brush to paint a signature.


  • Looks brilliant already!
  • edited April 2019
    It's looking fabulous already, @Dianna:)
  • Hilarious. I just have to tell you this. I thought to myself, after reading Denis' post -- OK, good idea, I will try initials as a readable logo.  So I put DiC for Di Cameron. HILARIOUS.  Guess I'll have to keep thinking.  =)
  • Dianna

    Get a rubber stamp made with your logo.
    Carve your own with soft sculp rubber from the art shop.
    I posted something on this stuff a while back.


  • A suggestion . . . Strike in a rough and washy version of your background now.  It will give you the opportunity to key the rest of your values to it.

    I remember Daniel Greene telling me of his near disaster when he was following the dark-to-light rule.  The lightest thing in the painting was the man's white shirt.  So he saved that until last.  When be began painting in the white shirt, suddenly (by contrast and comparison) the face went too dark.  He had to repaint the flesh tones to make his painting look right.  You'll save yourself a lot of heartache by roughing in your background and other major blocks of color/value.

  • PaulBPaulB mod
    broker12 said:
    A suggestion . . . Strike in a rough and washy version of your background now.  It will give you the opportunity to key the rest of your values to it.
    That's meaningless if color matching against a photograph, which is what Dianne is doing here.  Look at her progress so far, it doesn't rely at all on color/value judgement calls.
  • This is looking amazing Dianna. I love your attention to detail and draftsmanship. You have amazing talent. I look forward to see this finished. 
  • @broker12 and @PaulB  Yes, color-matching against a photograph is a pretty amazing way to do a painting. Thank you @Rich_A - very nice of you to say such nice things. But the Artist's Curse is real. This morning I had to do a couple of tiny touch-ups to Lucia 2 and was so embarrassed about the poor quality of the work that I seriously considered not giving it to my friend. You have to just ignore your own mind and pretend you didn't hear it :)

  • DO OTHER PEOPLE HAVE THIS PROBLEM?  I use the Geneva stain on the canvas. When painting, I find that when I try to do minor adjustments the brush seems to pick the paint up off the canvas and the brown under-stain shows.

    I've decided that where it's very noticeable, such as in the face, I will plan to paint an under-layer and then paint a final layer later on - but where it is not so noticeable, as in the hair, or the background, I won't worry.

    Eventually I might find a way of painting that eliminates this problem. In the meantime, if anyone has found a solution to this problem, I'd love to hear it. (This is still only DMP #3 - I might just need more experience)
  • You are doing a lovely job.  Your friend will be so pleased.
  • I love it just like this!! What an awesome illusion!!
  • Dianna

    Soft brush a little linseed oil on the part to be adjusted. Moisten your painting brushes with a little linseed oil, wipe off excess, before picking up paint.

    The paint should flow smoothly without picking up the previous layer.


  • @Bancroft414    Thank you - and it really is all just an illusion, isn't it  =)    @dencal   Well, I'll give your suggestion a try.  I'm going to my art shop tomorrow to see if I can buy brushes that are even softer than the ones I've got.  It will save me a LOT of color mixing and painting if it works. Thank you in anticipation.
  • Wow, such a good start! 
  • it already looks amazing... cant wait to see it finished!

  • At the top left is a recently Photoshopped image of Jeana with a sunset added.

    Despite the fact that I've almost finished the portrait, I decided to go ahead and change the background.

    However, when I started painting this morning, I discovered that the paint won't stick to the slick black surface and the black is showing through. (I added a tiny bit of Linseed but wiped as much off as I could)

    However, I like the extra dimentionality the new background is adding to the portrait, and I'm wondering if I should compromise by including the outline of the mountains and then just add some brown-black and some stars to the sky and leave it at that.

    (In future I should make decisions like this BEFORE I start painting, not when I'm close to finishing!)

    I would appreciate some feedback.

  • My first impressions for a background often change by the time I get to the end and I make the changes that I see as necessary. I always know that I can change anything and make it right, it's never too late before the final varnishing stage.
     Thanks for sharing, great work! Never fear.
  • Interesting. Excellent advice.  And I agree with you, except for the fact that technically I might not be able to overcome this hurdle of paint not adhering to the shiny black surface....  We shall see. 
  • edited August 2020
    @Dianna, I like it with the sunset. I don't know how to paint smooth so not sure I can be of much help. I'm not sure why the paint is not sticking but if nothing else works you could consider roughing the background a bit with some very fine sandpaper. and then painting over it. But I'm sure someone will come up with good reasons why this might not be a good idea.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.  :)
  • @Dianna it’s been a while since you’ve posted.  This painting is amazing.  This is just my preference but I don’t think you need the sunset.  The portrait is so good it stands all on it’s own.  To me the sunset distracts from the portrait.  If you do want to break up the black background you might consider something more subtle.  
    As far as the paint not sticking try @tassieguy ‘s suggestion but in a very small unobtrusive area first.  Try a 400 or 600 grit Wet dry sandpaper and then use a cheesecloth to wipe off any dust before you apply your paint.  I have never tried that method but it makes sense.
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