The Graduate - WIP

So it's been a minute since I posted here. I must say that I've missed both painting and this forum. 
The painting I did of my daughter in her Roxy jacket and kitty boots in 2013 was from a photo taken earlier when she was 4.
Now, she is an 18 year old beauty that just graduated high school. I took the photo for this canvas about 2 weeks ago.  Where does the time go? 
I still need to noodle some of these lines around a bit but without further ado, I give you Jayden, The Graduate (she goes by her middle name now rather than Bella) 
painting is 30" x 40" - Im thinking 4-5 color groups should do it.  
Sketch took about 5 hours.  I will post updates when I'm able
Strap in, away I go.



  • Jcdrob

    Welcome back.

    Looking good already.

    Conte white pastel for sketch?

  • Hey Denis, Good to be back.
    Pink Stabilo CarbOthello pencil I borrowed from Jayden - seemed apropo.
    Re-checking my marks today - I find I've  wandered somewhere and will need to redraw pretty much the lower third. (who hates drawing hands - Me!) 
    With luck I'll get to laying out the colors before the end of day today 
  • Wow @Jcdrob this is going to be lovely .. and looking forward to seeing your progress. 
    if you don’t mind me asking , I’ve heard mentioned to use fixative spray over drawing before painting..  what do you think? Don’t worry I’m not full of questions  ;) 
  • It's looking good already, @Jcdrob. She looks lovely and you got a good quality reference photo to work from, too.

    I look forward to seeing this develop.  :)
  • @joydeschenes No worries, questions are a large part of forum life, intrinsic really, and are always welcome.  
    I draw a lot in charcoal, this is the only time I personally have used fixative (and sometimes my wife's hairspray)  Theres no need to fix the pencil crayon, it seems to hold up fairly well and in areas that it gets a little blurry before I can paint over it I just re-state the lines. I try and be concious not to lean my hand on the canvas while drawing or painting. 
  • @tassieguy I would have preferred a little more sunlight/backlight as the shot was taken on an overcast day but it's hard to take a bad pic of my girl. (Proud Pappy) This will be my fourth portrait of her. Happily she's not standing by a river for this one.
    Im reworking the drawing at the moment. I missed a measurement somehow and everything is wonky. but I'll get it. 
  • A great demonstration of the technique of applying the master drawing.
  • @KingstonFineArt - Thx Kingston, If i've learned anything it's the importance of the drawing's accuracy.
    If I don't fix things at this stage before paint (which is easy) it'll show up later and be way more difficult to amend.
    Still noodling, but it's getting closer.
  • Beautiful young lady and I do believe it will be a wonderful portrait.
  • @oilpainter1950 Thanks. She's definitely a cutie. We'll see how it develops. Fingers crossed. 
  • I spent about 4 hours laying out my colors yesterday. It's around 90F here so I added Oil of Cloves to all my piles to extend the drying time. Even so when I returned to the painting this morning everything had already skinned over. Gonna have to move quickly.
    This session was about 6 hours and then i fiddled with it this morning for an hour or so.
    I'm in the land of "close but not quite there" re: the likeness, but I think I know where the issues are.
    Regardless, it's great to be painting again. Doin' my happy dance.
    Hoping to spend a few more hours later today, but I need to take care of some work related tasks first.

  • Jcdrob, it's looking good.  The likeness seems to be emerging just fine. Obviously you are still working on the dark areas around the eyes and you've hardly started on the neck yet.  Mark says to follow the workflow and get the canvas covered before making any judgements about what minor adjustments are needed. And I know the temptation is to focus on her lovely face but I wonder whether it might be worth getting more of the background behind her in first in order to be able to better judge the skin tones. But it's looking great. I'm no portrait painter but I love watching them develop like this. Thanks for posting a progress shot.  :)
  • @tassieguy - That just what I started before i took a break. Im hoping to keep the paint open so I can lose some edges where needed. Although I am colorchecking on laminate I'm not following Mark's method to the letter. I've adapted it to what will hopefully be a more painterly image that doesn't deny the brushwork. I'm a huge Sargent/Duran/Monet fan.
    Glad your liking the progress - more to come :-) 
  • Wonderful start… and really like that your looking for a “more painterly image”.  And  great to see the progress, very inspirational. 
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