I love my Friday Portrait Group! It is such a fun and creative group of people. We listen to music, talk to the model, and paint. You can see in this picture we were talking to the model and I like her casual pose so much I grabbed a coffee cup and asked her to hold it as a prop. I wanted to capture the spontaneity that came through her casual pose.
Her beautiful auburn hair and porcelain skin was the perfect subject to paint the day after St. Patrick's day and just seeing her we were all inspired:) It was two hours of bliss for me. Every portrait always starts as a mess of marks and paint splotches as I try to find the landmarks and proportions of the face. You can see here that I wanted to get her coffee cup in the painting, but the painting seemed to have it's own path and ultimately the cup was lost from the composition.
It was because of her hair. I got lost in the beauty of the color and depth of it. I actually started with a piece of canvas paper that was long and narrow and wanted to do a crop of her. But once I started massing in her hair I had to add a second piece of paper to be able to capture her hair. So if you look closely you'll notice the line separating the two pieces of canvas paper and my painting was really a diptych! I played with the colors a bit and went with a complimentary color scheme vs the somewhat analogous background that the yellow wall created. You can see my set up here. I have a folding chair and a card table for my paints and a music stand for my paper. I paint on canvas paper because I really like the ease of it and since these are just practice studies, I feel less committed to the paper and allow myself to push it and make mistakes.
Here is my finished study and a close up of it. I didn't really capture fully her likeness but I am improving from week to week with each painting, so I am pleased:)