In The Stream (1st Work)

5:41 PM

If you remember the post about the location and photo shoot in the stream with the two little boys, you might recognize the idea of this painting.
Isn't this little boy darling?! 

Saturday, for my second photo shoot of the day, I had darling little boys help me out! I did get the shot I want, but I also got MANY unplanned shots that might just even be better than planned. Funny how that goes. Hopefully I'll do many more paintings similar to this soon. Loved this photo shoot. It was so fun!! And so wet! 
I started out with a composition with just one figure so get a feel of the atmosphere I want to create for my bigger project from this shoot. 
I always make sure to start out with the head. I figure that if the face and head (anatomy, composition, expression) is not near perfect, the painting overall will be a "re-do." Once the head is finished, I will most likely finish the figure, then background and "props" simultaneously. Some artists do things differently, but this is just my personal preference and the way I feel I can manipulate my paint how I like. 
When I paint a figure/painting like this one, I nearly treat the face as one painting, and the rest of the painting as a completely separate painting until i'm ready to soften edges, et cetra, near the very end. 
My basics for the actual painting process:
Rule 1. Darks first. I love adding detail to shadows. I think a lot of the time, beauty and detail in shadow is overlooked. Mostly, artists tend to focus on the detail in the light. I love contrast, so my lights are typically very simple. I'll talk about half tones sometime later because they are a huge process themselves. 
Rule 2. Darks first. 
Rule 3. Darks fist. 
Rule 4. Half tones.
Rule 5. Check if darks are all in place. 
Rule 6. Crisp whites (mixed, not straight from the tube. There are really very many shades of white if you look and compare.) 
There are more, but I just wanted to emphasize how important it is, when oil painting, to apply darks first. This allows your colors to be clean, crisp and fresh. It also allows contrast to be bold. I rarely change my brush, or clean my pallet (during a painting!!) If I happen to switch colors drastically, I will clean my brush. But mostly, I like a smooth transition from every part of my canvas, so colors from the face will be mixed in with colors of clothing. Most especially, if a figure is blonde, I make sure to use mostly the leftover paint from the face. 
Just some tidbits on my painting process. 
This painting is just in the very beginning works, but coming along! Watch for updates to this post tonight and tomorrow. 
Enjoy! Oh, and please don't feel shy to comment! 

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  1. Love it love it love it! I wish I was there to see it!

  2. Wow...I love the way you are going with this...looking forward to seeing him come alive. Janna


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