Portrait of Samara

fisheyed Ambiguation, Connective Tissue, Figurative Leave a Comment

Oil on Canvas

This is a  portrait in progress of my friend Samara.
She’s just recently cut of her dreads and stopped by to do a trade with me.  I took a few shots and she chose three that she liked.

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Step 1. I started this afternoon by using the classic illustration technique of blacking the back of my print with a soft pastel. Then I took a tan colored pencil and traced over the contours of Samara’s face, making an outline on the canvas.

Step 2. The portrait is close to life size. Those are my glasses on Sam’s head. Her skull is probably larger than, mine I suppose.

Step 3. This canvas is covered with old gestures of Samara.
I like to keep the energy of those quick sketches under the more finished pieces that I do. Here the pastel line is on the surface. The eyes came out pretty well, but I missed the mouth completely.

Step 4. I thought about drawing the mouth in by hand but it began to feel like an illustration job so I layed the darks in with ultramarine and raw umber thinned with Gamsol.

Step  5. I mixed yellow ochre with zinc white and a touch of alizarine crimson and started laying in the mid-tones.

Step  6. Here, I’ve painted in Sam’s eyes, she looks like what’s his name from Star Trek.

Step  7. I’ve added some iris’ and done a bit more modeling in the face and neck. It’s starting to shape up pretty well for the first layer. I need to work on the eyes and brows. I’m not really happy with them at this stage.

Step 8. The final bits for today on this one. It’s looking a bit like an Indiana Jones poster.  I’ll let it sit and moved on to a more loose interpretation.

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