Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grisaille underpainting - Carter's portrail in oil

Last night my husband was out visiting clients and I finally felt well enough to paint so while the kids slept I hid away in my studio with the dog and cat. YAY!

As I mentioned previously, I really want to explore portraiture in the next year and have been reading up on it. So last night I thought I would do a grisaille underpainting for a portrait of Carter. As my husband had my laptop with me (which felt like a limb was cut off) which has all my photos, I couldn't print off a photo so had to work with what I had which was the same photo that I drew as a charcoal portrait last week. And that worked well. Because I was used to the photo and where the tonal changes were, I found that a really good base point before painting the underpainting and think I will probably do that again for the next portrait.

I spent a couple of hours on this, and concentrated on the face mainly. The hair and t-shirt are not terribly detailed but I didn't think they needed to be in this. I really want to get the luminosity of a child's skin coming through when I start the glazing which is why I spent a long time on his face. I did this all in burnt umber and am really happy with it. Now I am really scared of stuffing up the next stages so I am going to do more research today on how to approach the glazing for the skin tones before I start that tonight.


Annie-Maree said...

Hello Melissa,

I came across your blog while I was doing a google search for grisaille portraits. I found it amusing as I am currently doing one of my husband and am at the stage of the next step to add the glazes.... lol.. So I had a chuckle as you are doing the same.
And I feel the same as you do too, :) I hope I don't stuff mine up..
It has been lovely looking through your blog, you have some lovely drawings and paintings. I am inlove with painting too, and really enjoy the times at my easel.
Looking forwards to seeing more of your grisaille portrait, and I hope to post mine on my blog soon,

Melissa Muirhead said...

Hi Annie, thanks for your comment and I am so glad I have found your blog too, your work is so lovely and I am adding it to my google reader.

I have started on the glazes today and doing it very very gently (perhaps too gently)so will just see how it goes. I look forward to seeing your grisaille portrait and seeing how you get on. :o)

Annie-Maree said...

Hi Melissa,
Hows the glazing going?
I popped back to see if you have posted any updates, :), I have been still working on the grisaille underpainting, trying to get the tonal values right. My problem is I am too much of a perfectionist, a pain in the butt sometimes, lol....
Anyway, I am looking forwards to seeing your progress :)