Saturday, 29 January 2011

Value Sketches for Portrait II - Redux

Last night I sprayed fixative on this sketch to seal the charcoal hoping to add another layer today to darken it to the point where the values of the photograph are at least matched. I thought I had succeeded but knew something was detracting from the strong contrasts and the sketch was 'off'. I noticed that I had outlined the side of her face nearest the light which was incorrect; the edge of her face almost merges with the light filled background. I couldn't eliminate the fixed charcoal line so I painted over it with white gouache and, even though this is obvious, it got the sketch as close to the photograph as possible. These little things make all the difference. I've also nearly completed my second Boston painting for The Virtual Paintout, but it's been another dark day with leaden skies, so colour photography is totally out of the question.

"FINAL Value Sketch for Melancholy Portrait Series"
Charcoal & Gouache on Cartridge Paper - 12" x 9" (Approx.)

"Value Sketch for Melancholy Portrait Series"
Charcoal on Cartridge Paper - 12"x 8" (Approx.)

(Adapted from a photograph by Margrethe Mather p.96 "Portraits" published by Thames and Hudson 1982, 1983)

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