Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Gypsy Portraits Project - Progress Report

Gypsy Portraits Project- Progress Report
Portraits of Gucci and Arthur

I have been struggling to get on with the portraits for this project. I have been falling too often. I dislocated my knee at one point, which stopped me from sitting at my easel. It took a while before I could do anything but sit on the sofa with my leg up straight. 

I am completely recovered from that problem and I am getting on with the portraits much faster. I am working on a number at once. A lot of painting in oils is waiting for the paint to dry. It is particularly important for me, because I have post-polio syndrome and my right hand is weak. I can paint with no problem. My only limitation is that I have to rest my hand on the canvas, so if the paint is wet it smudges, and I get an interestingly coloured hand.

I am most advanced with the portrait of Gucci, the dog. You can see what a beautiful nature she has. 
I am having to learn how to paint grass! It doesn’t usually come into portraits. 
Yesterday I searched online for a video of how to paint grass so I picked up a few tips. But I photographed the painting this morning before I put the tips into practice. 
I changed the colours from the video. I have an undercoat of flicks of shadow green by Holbein Duo Aqua Oil. It is looking promising. I used the colour to paint the bottom of the canvas so now it is upside down on the top picture shelf. I like the Duo Aqua paints. Gucci is mainly painted in Duo Aqua using a lot of Paynes Grey and white with raw umber to warm up the sunlit areas. I used some Schminke Mussini caput mortuum for the shadows on her tongue with Schminke Medium W Gel to make it water soluble. I also used a little bit of Schminke Mussini Pozzuoli earth to modify the Duo Aqua alizarin crimson. 

I currently have six portraits on the go. Another one that was dry enough today to rest my hand on was “Arthur”. This time I took the photograph after I had worked on it. It’s back on the picture shelves now, to dry. Today I also sketched baby Billy but it is a faint sketch and wouldn’t show if I photographed it. 
Meanwhile here is Arthur on the easel: