Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to the drawing board with Levi.... literally!



Top image: WIP #5, Bottom image: WIP #4

I finished up some fine tuning on the shading of Levi's face and hair, and was happy with that but just couldn't live with the background - in particular the dark areas between the steps. Too bold, too overpowering and too greeny-brown. I've had the portrait lying on my drawing desk for a couple of days and kept going back and looking at it. I had to decide whether reworking part of the background was justifiable or if it was just nitpicking and overworking. I tried to be objective. Could I live with it like it is? If I attempted to rework it and made an awful mess, thereby ruining the rest of the portrait could I live with that? I finally decided that although I was pleased with how Levi came out I just wasn't happy with the background and never would be. I decided to go for it and if it was irrevocably ruined, so be it.

Out came the acrylics. Wonderful paints acrylics. Very opaque for great coverage, and fast drying. Just what I needed. I started by applying a very light wash of cadmium yellow over the steps to bring a unifying layer of golden warmth to the wood. Then I put an almost full strength layer of Titanium White over the dark spaces in between the steps. This is how it looks at present. I'm going to let it sit for the rest of today... I want to make sure the acrylic paint is thoroughly dry before I go back with CP. My intention is to redo the previously dark areas as light areas of greenery - sort of a scumbled effect. Keep your fingers crossed!

Meantime, I have a newspaper article to complete (due in Friday), and a mini mural to start on. Mural is acrylic on wood... been a few years since I've worked on wood so this will be a nice change of pace.

17 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Those pictures of Levi are exquisite. Isn't it wonderful to be creative - people who don't try to do anything creative miss so much if life, don't you agree?

Lin said...

MAN OH MAN OH MAN!!! ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watercolorist said...

You were right to use the acrylics. The made all the difference to the picture, drawing your attention to the main subject. What a good idea. I think I will pull out some of my "failures" and try to fix them using acrylics.
Jean

laura said...

Levi himself looks great, darling--the face is wonderful, and I love how you "corrected" the stairs--it does make a huge difference, the white risers and especially the warmer tones. Very interesting to read about your thought process and how you worked it out!

Jo Castillo said...

This is just beautiful. Never would have thought of the acrylics. Hmmm. We learn something every day. Thanks.

Laure Ferlita said...

Go, girl, go!!! There is nothing as thrilling as seeing creativity in action! Love the warmth and unity the yellow brought to the steps. Can't wait to see the finished piece. And congrats on taking ACTION on something you weren't satisfied with!! ~ Laure

Teresa Mallen said...

Great changes!! Yup, my fingers are crossed for the greenery. :-)

Teresa said...

Thank you all so much for your encouraging words!

Weaver: I agree wholeheartedly. Just can't imagine a life worth living without some form of creativity in it.

Jean: Do let me know how your fixing goes!

Laure: Thank YOU! Already I've employed my Word for the Year and seeing ACTION in my work and schedule!

Angela said...

Such beautiful work!
Thanks for dropping by my blog- I have put a whole load of information on there about Marmite for you!!

Kendra said...

Very sweet! You've captured and portrayed his expression and personality so nicely. Its nice to be able to add in the acrylic to fix! I have a difficult time with the Lyra pencils, they don't seem to work well for me. Glad you like them.

Dave King said...

Fascinating to see the progress of the image. A really excellent post. Thanks for sharing your work and thoughts.

Rosie said...

You have such a huge talent - it was fascinating to follow your progress with this painting - I think it is wonderful - and something little Levi will treasure forever:)

indiaartist said...

This is simply beautiful!

Drive thru said...

Very nice blog. Pictures are very beautiful.

acornmoon said...

It's looking good! The painting is going well and you seem to have it all under control, well done, I will look forward to seeing the painting completed.

Cathy Gatland said...

This is just wonderful, Teresa - and so interesting to see how you worked through the problems... I tend to just give up if something isn't working for me - a good lesson to keep on going and thinking!

Lori Andrews said...

Darling!!!

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