Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Portrait step one

Before I painted Elizabeth, it didn't occur to me
to document my process. My clients usually
come for two hours at a time. The younger
they are, the longer the breaks in between
10-15 minute painting sessions. During those
breaks I give my subjects cookies in my
kitchen, and don't look at the canvas until
the client is back in the pose. Elizabeth was
almost 14 when I began her portrait. She
was beautiful, artistic and shy. Her portrait
had to connect on the left side (her right)
to the completed one of her sister, Madeline.
So before I began I created the join. This
image makes it clear why I don't show
clients the work in progress. It is a long way
away from the finished work. I spent my time
establishing the proper position, roughing in
the outline in charcoal, which can be washed
off once the acrylic paint is dry, and starting
on the highlights.

The more time I spend looking at the subject the

Over the next few days, I'll take you through
the steps to the finished Elizabeth.

Have a self-directed day.

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Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!