Part 3 – Exercise 7: Conveying character – finished study

My inspiration for this portrait conveying character was found on a lovely warm (for a change) Spring day sitting outside in our garden in Glenurquhart with my mother who was celebrating her 94th birthday. Determined to get a seat out in the fresh air that day she donned heavy cardigan, sun hat and scarf (to stop the hat blowing off in the occasional breeze) and sun glasses.

She read the papers, dozed off and on and I managed to catch her here resting her eyes with a smile on her face – just enjoying the warmth of the early afternoon sunshine. Her spirit and character shine through here for me – 94 year’s young – my Mum.

I used a Fredrix artist canvas panel, 30.5 x 40.6cm and a HB graphite pencil to capture her image:

Exercise 7 - conveying character - initial sketch (click image to enlarge)

Exercise 7 – conveying character – initial sketch (click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to my garden studio I then set about blocking in the main areas using a 3/4 inch Daler-Rowney size 10 short flat brush. My palette consisted of the following oil paints:

Cadmium Red Light – orange-red (pigment PR 108)
Curelean Blue – green-blue (pigment PB 35)
Cadmium Yellow – orange-yellow (pigment PY35)
Yellow Ochre (pigment PY 43)
Titanium White (pigment PW 6)
‘Zest-it’ oil paint dilutant

Exercise 7 - conveying character - blocking in (click image to enlarge)

Exercise 7 – conveying character – blocking in (click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Brownlee – 512319

3rd May, 2014


 

The following day, while the oil paint was not completely dry I began to work in more refinement to the colouring. The only additional colours I introduced were: a spot of French Ultramarine – violet-blue (pigment PB 29) – I used this to pick out some of the ‘bluer’ aspects of the scarf over the hat and also to add to the facial colouring for subtle (maybe too subtle) shading emphasis; and Quinacridone Violet – violet-red (pigment PV 19) – I used this mainly to pick out the colouring of the sun glasses frame and to add a touch to some of the facial highlighting around the mouth and lips:

Exercise 7 - conveying character - second paint (click image to enlarge)

Exercise 7 – conveying character – second paint (click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I altered the background colouring as well to tone down the bright orange-red to a more subdued violet-red.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319

4th May, 2014


In a real attempt to stop tinkering with the study I made a big decision today to just walk away from it and leave it alone to dry in the sunshine. I added some more highlights and shading (again a bit scared of being too bold). This is the final study:

Exercise 7 - conveying character - finished study (click image to enlarge)

Exercise 7 – conveying character – finished study (click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest challenge was getting the linen scarf to look ‘see-through’ enough and I wasn’t at all sure how to tackle the glass in the sun glasses, which was a kind of rosy red, so I decided to just leave it as is.

Exercise 7 – Conveying character  ← click the link to download a .pdf version of this page

Stuart Brownlee – 512319

6th May, 2014