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.