The latest oil portrait, with process documentation

in art •  2 years ago  (edited)

My uncle Jon was a great guy. A statistician by trade, he was something of an introvert. His sense of humor had a hard, cynical edge that I always found refreshing, and the way he humbly expressed an altogether selfless nature through philanthropic activities remains an ongoing inspiration. So when my uncle @greatdabu commissioned a small painted portrait of his late brother, I saw it as a great opportunity, and got right to it.

You can see the end result above. The rest of this post is process documentation.


As you can see from this picture from my childhood, Jon had distinctive features, and was very good at looking skeptical. As my goal was not to immortalize his skepticism, but rather to commemorate his life for the family, I worked out a drawing from a picture where he was smiling and generally looking nice.


This was done on paper first, and then directly on the canvas, using colored pencil, charcoal, and marker. Next, it was time for the paint sketch, which I worked out in raw umber and burnt sienna.


For the brushy, impressionistic style of a work like this, I've found that eye placement and skull shape are the most important things to get right at this stage.


Once the portrait is sketched out, it is time to begin putting down some color.


For this work, I kept things simple. Just winsor yellow, cerulean blue, and cadmium red (along with titanium white and mars black to make greys)


The roughed-out portrait makes it clear where the work is heading. If a painting at this stage looks wrong, it is usually best just to start over. Fortunately, this one seemed to be heading in the right direction, so I kept at it.


Once again, the completed portrait:


Hope you've enjoyed this latest window into my artistic process!!!

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Wonderful portrait, it expresses his personality and your care.

Thanks, @reddust!

very cool

Glad you like it, @tanyabtc!

I have zero art skills, but you're so talented!

You are very kind, @flexifriday. Thanks!

This is beautiful!! He must be really proud of you :D great work my friend (:

ok now, that looks super good, you are a super good artist, love this work <3

You are a great talent @mada, your process is a joy to observe and your portrait captures uncle Jon well!

Thanks, @natureofbeing: )

I really like your style and the fact that you show the evolution of your work and I'll be glad to hear your opinion about mine here is the link and hope you'll enjoy it ;)
https://steemit.com/art/@othmanesl/harry-potter-drawing

Thanks, @otmanesl! My opinion on your Harry Potter drawing is that it shows real promise. Keep it up!

thanks for your comment I'm glad you like it :)

I love it! Whenever I see a great painting, it makes me want to paint... but whenever I paint I remember why I draw haha

Right on. For me, drawing is just what happens while working out what to paint next.

Haha yeah. I just have a really hard time controlling fluid media. I need the precision :)

You say that ... but your use of black ink with what I can only assume was a brush tells a different story.

haha thanks... I tend to be critical of my own work. especially my painting/ink work ;)

So Very Great @mada, I'm super happy with the finished piece. It's perfect. I'm going to make prints and send them off to our family right away. I know they will treasure this very much. You really captured Jon's essence. What a gift :)

Thanks! I'm happy with how it came out, too, and will let you know right away when the paint is dry: )

Thank you very much for sharing your process. I'm moving on to doing portraits and it's so difficult capturing a likeness - probably even more so from a photo than from life.

Glad you enjoyed it. And good luck studying portraiture!

Great Work. I love that you took the time to show the process, very important for artists to share this stuff with each other!

For sure. This ability to easily share how a finished artwork comes about is one of my favorite things about Steemit: )

Great job! I particularly recorded the evolution of the work.

Thanks, @zachnewell!

love your work @mada, I'm only sorry I didn't see this in time to upvote your post! I'll follow for more...

Really geart and awsome !! @mada !!

Overall colour combination is cool..!!
I do drawing please follow me and give your feedback on my drawing works @prashanthak

Followed and upvoted you..!!

Thanks !!!!😃

I appreciate your kind words, @prashanthak! Looking forward to seeing more of those detailed pencil drawings: )