Figure Oil Painting Practice 9th Nov '14

Decided to start off simple with this image of a reclining female figure showing just her back so that I may first get used to modelling the tones and hues of the skin.

1. First the background was toned with a diluted (with turp) mix of burnt umber + french ultramarine. It was rubbed in with a rag with the knowledge that parts of this ground will be left showing through in the final composition.

2. The figure was then roughly painted in gesturally and refined later with a turpentine dipped cu-tip. The toned ground within the figure was somewhat lightened so that the skin tones would have a more glowing quality in the final.

Underpainting with burnt umber + french ultramarine.

3. With a somewhat simple palette of cad yellow light, cad red hue, permanent alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, french ultramarine, burnt umber, mixing white & titanium white, most of the varying hues of the skin tones were pre-mixed to enable an uninterrupted flow during painting.

4. One of the great parts of painting is being able to enhance the beauty and aesthetics of a scene by making little adjustments to the tones and hues. In this case, I picked up on slight accents in the hues and exaggerating them ever to slightly, creating more purplish shadows while complementing them with slightly more yellow lights.

5. The cooler hues (french ultramarine (although this is technically a warmish blue, it mixes well with the burnt umber to create dark hues), permanent alizarin crimson, burnt umber) were used more in the shadowed parts, while the warmer colours ( cad yellow light, cad red hue, cobalt blue) in the light. 

I started of with the darker tones. The hand she is sleeping on will be turned in to a pillow of sorts later. I didn't want to complicate this initial practice piece with such details yet.

6. Before further refinements of the skin tones the background and bedcovers were painted in, gently smudging in with the edges of the figure, so that it would become more 'one' with the scene.

7. The hair was then painted in with more detail, making sure it echoed the purplish hues of its surroundings.

 8. At this point I started to paint in the folds of the bed spread with more detail, but found the complicated folds pulled the interest away from the figure. They were subsequently wiped down and simplified later.

9.  Besides a slight touch up once it was dry this piece was completed alla prima in about 8 hours.

Oil on primed unstretched canvas
Size: about 10 x 7.8 Inches
This piece is available for purchase at Figure Oil Painting 9th Nov '14.

Till the next!..

p.s. I do have tons of figure practice drawings I've been meaning to post here. Time is limited though, but I'll try to scan and post some here as soon as possible!.. :)


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