Tag Archives: painting people

Tattoo starts and dwarf’s first coat.

Alright, well, I gave the dwarf his first oil coat . . . I have to be careful to wipe away as little as possible of the pencil beneath. Basically I just paint with a lot of medium and some white, letting the pencil tint the mixture as I carefully go over the drawing.  Occasionally you’ll lose some tonal work, but it’s easily replaced on the next layer as long as you don’t lose anything too important like facial features.

Obviously I can’t scan a wet canvas, so we’re back to the fool camera.


When that coat dries, I’ll go in with black and block in the tones correctly, deepen the shadows, and sharpen up some edges.

I also carefully applied the beginnings of a tattoo to the other painting with the intention of wiping it away if it didn’t look good.  It works for me though, so I’ll leave those basic lines and build a more complicated tattoo around them.

Still haven’t decided if the Maryland flag will go on the shoulder or not.  (I took the photo at an angle to prevent the flash from bouncing off it too badly.)


The flash is still washing it out a bit though.  (It’s a lot darker than what it looks like above.)  The top band is a little too dark and will have to be lightened.



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Painting Update.


Well, it’s slowly still getting somewhere, where, I don’t know.  At least I’ve learned how to paint skin again and are getting better at hair.  There’s still something proportionally wrong with her head….not only that, but the painting’s layout sucks.  There’s simply no room for anything else except her back, and well, it kind of makes it boring unless I go crazy with tattoos or something.

It was just a practice piece though, so I may very well do that, even if it means ruining it.  At the very least I’ll have the technique for the next one, and hopefully the good sense to put some thought into layout before I start slapping paint around.

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Painting steps.

So, after posting yesterday, I started painting.  If you remember, this is the pencil sketch that was used as a rough for the painting.


After using a drawing projector to project the drawing up on a canvas, this is what I got.  (BTW, my ability to take pictures of a canvas SUCKS….either I can’t use the camera properly, or my hands just shake too damn much.  All these photos are pretty damn blurry, but oh well, they suit the purpose.)


Next I put a wash of medium (linseed oil and turpentine) with a faint touch over the drawing and the surrounding areas, being really careful not to accidentally wipe off the pencil (a problem I remember from a decade ago).


Then, using heavy, heavy amounts of medium and a little bit of black and white paint, I started blocking in the shadows.  The surface is so wet at this point though that I had to be careful that the paint didn’t run down the canvas in rivulets or spiderweb out across the surface.  When it did, I took the point of a paper towel and wiped away the run-off or whatever you want to call it.


Next, added lots of patches of white paint, then more black into the shadows areas, then blended the edges together.  I didn’t spend too much time blending…after this last level dries (this is where I stopped), I’ll start adding transparent layer after transparent layer of color (and more shadows and highlights), which will accomplish the blending by themselves, well, if I remember correctly, I haven’t done this in awhile.


The head and the hair are only meant to be a faint, faint suggestion of what’s actually going to be there.  When I get to that part, I’ll probably actually do a draft sketch first, since painting a face from scratch, especially from that angle, is probably a good way for me to start tearing up the studio and biting paint brushes in half.

Several things I had forgotten but relearned real quick :

1) In college, I always worked without having eaten that day.  Hunger does wonders for keeping your mind sharp.

2) I also drank 9 cups of coffee a day back then.  I drank 4 pots while doing this (and a bunch of other things), which means, as I write this, I’m about to bounce off the damn walls.  It’s amazing how many things you can get done in an evening when you’re starving and overdosed on caffeine. (I wrote this post “yesterday evening”, but set WordPress to publish it on Thursday.)

3) Keep a roll of paper towels near you for when you inevitably knock something over.

4) Do NOT keep your cup of coffee near the jar you wash your brushes in.  (Paper towels come in useful again here when you spit a combination of paint and coffee all over the canvas.)

5) NPR does wonders as background noise.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Part of the point of this blog was to try to get good at drawing again…one of the first posts was an attempt at an oil painting which made it painfully obvious that I needed to work on my drafting skills before touching a brush again.

It’s kinda nice to look at a year ago compared to now…

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