I’ve made it a habit to record the steps I take on my latest work, to me, it’s a very healthy habit to get into, maintaining a healthy working process, it keeps you focused.

My apologies for the quality of these photos, they were taken as I worked through the night, I’ve tidied them up as best I can, should be OK enough to see how I went about things…

1step 1) the drawing. I sketched this straight onto the canvas. I wanted this painting to have a looseness about it. It’s my goal to try and loosen up from the ‘tight’ mindset up I’ve created for myself via my illustrative works.

22) The underpainting. Using burnt sienna acrylic here. Again, in a loose fashion, note the differences in tone? The wet paint picked up the dark of the graphite below, messy? Yes, but exactly what I’m going for. very much enjoying slopping the paint about at this point. The drips were deliberate, I loaded the brush with water and splattered the canvas with it whilst the paint was still wet.

33) Still using acrylics here… Adding another colour into the mix. Here I chose cerulean blue. It offsets the warmth of the burnt sienna nicely, toning things down a notch or two. Being a little more careful, (whilst still staying as loose as I can)…

44) Switched to oil paint now. I felt I could only go ‘so’ far with the acrylics. Oils afford me the opportunity to blend and play around with stroke variations and things that I simply couldn’t do with acrylics. Again, things are tightening up more, force of habit…

55) Paying a LOT more attention to lighting and form, and giving more time to the space around the figure, this helps to make the whole thing sing… The pink of the dress has now been elevated due to the inclusion of darks surrounding the form. Here, I’m also playing with directional lines and losing any unnecessary strokes to give the composition some rhythm, a very important element in ALL paintings…

66) Here’s how it’s looking so far, I wanted the area at the top of the painting to be a lot lighter, helps to make sense of the play of highlights across the figure. I’ve blended the directional lines to look more realistic, more convincing, hopefully. Paying particular attention to the folds of the dress- this can only come from good observation. The plan has remained intact throughout… To make a realistic enough painting without becoming too swamped with thoughts of photorealism. It’s still loose enough to show the energy of my thought process and my brushwork throughout. Pretty happy with it so far. Letting the whole thing dry now- before the next session…


2 thoughts on “A Sleeping Beauty – Steps…

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