This time I think it went better with the portrait session.
Last Saturday during art class we had to try again with this 4-stage exercise.
First draw the lines directly with paint, then block in the values with transparent strokes.
Below you see how this looked like after these 2 stages (the image shows the (very patient) model Marlies).
Contrary to earlier paintings I wanted to have a dark background, to enhance the profile of the face.
Even tough I don't think it was all that bad, please keep in mind that pure resemblance was not the issue.
I also wanted to use green (terra verte) as background, as this is the complimentary colour to some flesh colours and red.
As a matter of fact, this exercise was planned to last 2 sessions, but I had to do this in only one (total two hours), so I had to work very fast. As a side effect the overlapping transparent strokes mixed with the not yet dried up ones, which unfortunately gave a muddy effect, not what I wanted.
Then stage 3: painting smaller strokes with non-transparent paint.
By the way, I used acrylic paint (W&N's Galleria paint on 300 grams Steinbach paper 60x70cm)
Now I kicked in the colours, trying to work with smaller and better defined strokes towards the centre of the face. But always trying to keep something of the first 2 stages and the paper visible.
At some point I had to add white paint highlights again, on the picture below it looks harsher than in reality (I have not yet mastered making pictures which represent the colours decently).
Still, wisely using white is something I have to learn to improve on.
Halfway this process the model left, and we had to work "blind". That was done on purpose, as we should concentrate on making a good painting. Like I said before, resemblance was not quite the issue.
The result is the picture below, just before I went to stage 4.
Stage 4 meant adding strokes and details with palette knife.
Now that's really difficult. Imagine, you have already spent a lot of time adding colours and textures, keeping the total painting in balance and the face recognizable in ever more subtle tones, and then you have to attack it again with the coarse and blunt palette knife.
It's were I went wrong last time.
So I tried to mix my colours with precision, and add them with restraint.
At each stroke I considered the added value, with as guiding principle that it should add and enhance the liveliness, but should never overshout the already painted parts.
Each stroke took a lot of time.
The fist image of this post shows the final result.
I should do this more often, but should also take more time than the two hours it took me to do this painting.