Saturday, 17 December 2011

Painting my Dad: Part 1

This year for Christmas I have decided to give my dad what he has always wanted... A portrait of himself!  I've been meaning to do this for ages actually and I drew out the picture in summer on an old canvas but ran out of time to paint it.  Now that I've reclaimed my oil paints and brushed etc from my Gran's house, I can finally get to work!

This is the photo of my dad I'm basing the painting on:
It's an old one but it's a nice photo (and it scaled up easily to the canvas size).

I should warn you now, I paint in a very particular way.  If you've seen my paintings before you know what I mean but I'll show you a few examples.



The first two I did when I was in Lower 6th so when I was 17 and the last was one of my final A-level pieces when I was 18. If you know your art, I'd say mine was a mix of Kokoschka (as you can see from the two older ones) and an unfinished Gainsborough (see The Artist's Daughters with a Cat). So you can sort of guess how it might end up.

Now I haven't done any sort of proper drawing for well over a year so I didn't think my initial canvas sketch turned out too bad.  Oh and if you've spotted the problem here, yes I am painting in oils, and yes Christmas is only a week away, however I use Liquin when I paint and also Siccative which help thin out and dry out the paint faster when you paint in lots of layers.

This is how far I got today.
The basic pencil drawing
Background wash - I know I should have done that before I drew it out but I always forget!!

Blocking in colour and basic shadow contours as a guide.
Once this first layer is dry I'll start using much thicker oils to hurry the process along a bit but I will keep the same textured look for (certainly) the sky and ground but I'm not sure about the helicopter yet.  Oh also I do realise that it has a funny perspective on it but that's just because it's being held up at an angle and not flat.

I'll take photos along the way to show you how its getting on (if I remember...)

And Merry (nearly) Christmas!

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