Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Latest update on Gypsy Portraits Project.

Portrait of Gucci 

I finished the Portrait of Gucci before Christmas and eventually worked out how to scan the canvas. I cut a piece of thick black paper to prevent the scanner light getting through the gaps in the canvas threads and reflecting off the back of the lid. It worked!
It would have been easier to paint if I'd chosen a different pose for the portrait, but I love this laughing expression. 

Since I finished Gucci, I have decided that, because oil paint takes days to dry (and it sticks to my hands better than it sticks to the canvas) I decided that I have to paint a lot of portraits at once. At the moment I am working on ten paintings. I can’t say portraits because a couple of them have more than one individual.

I have been buying more paints. When I painted in pastel my basic brand was Talens Rembrandt. I added pastels by Schminke and Sennelier, but mainly I relied on the Rembrandt pastels for my pastel portraits. Oil paints are a new medium for me. I was surprised to discover that the colour names are not standard, and when I reach for a tube of Red Oxide to give a small child glowing cheeks, the colour was not what I was expecting! So I have added tubes of Talens Rembrandt oil paints to my palette. The oils don’t match the pastels exactly but I have a better idea of what it will do.
I know that a lot of people mix their colours from a limited number of colours but I am happier to mix a toning earth colour with white then add touches of other colours to get it as close to my subject as possible. 

When I lived in London my main choice for skin colour was gold ochre, but in Appleby it is burnt sienna. Perhaps it was living in London that gave people a yellowish complexion and in Appleby everyone has a much healthier glow!