Thursday, February 24, 2011

Self-Portrait as Vitruvian Man - Almost Finished!

So I continued work on the commission for my Self-Portrait as Vitruvian Man today.  I got it to a point very close to done;  it is what I did all day. I spent the first 40 minutes or so working on the face.  I  had the mirror up close so I could see detail.  I first mixed up a light pink, a midtone that had more red and brown in it, and then brushed on the shadows with burnt umber.

The rest of the figure followed in the same way - the shadows brushed on first, and the lights second, in big broad strokes which were then refined.  I worked from the top down and from left to right, so that I would have a place to rest my hand without putting it on the wet paint.

It was also a very cold day today!  The sun was out and shining, but I was chilled to the bone, and as my studio is so large, its impossible to heat.  Hence the robe which I put on whenever I was working on something I didn't have to reveal!





Here I am, contemplating the almost finished painting.




And the painting as it appeared at the end of the day.  On Monday, I will add tone to the background to help bring out the light side, and I will darken some of the shadows on his body.  I couldn't do it today, because the light side is basically just paint and oil, and it does not stick very well to the surface;  any time I add more paint to darken it, it just picks up the paint under.  But the painting is very close to done - I'm thinking no more than a couple of hours of work!