Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How I start a new painting.

I thought I would post some insight in how I start one of my paintings. I work sight-size and this is an explanation of how I design my figure.
This is a work in progress.

Here is an explanation on Wikipedia if any of you are unfamiliar with this term.

First I do lots of sketches- I use a classic 8 head formula- therefore all the horizontal gridding you see on the figures. I liked the pose below- but not the hair and flowers. The sketch on the bottom is not quite finished- I need to do more work on the feet and add a ruff- but I wanted you to see the grid lines before I erased them.

I then made a tighter drawing of the figure on the bottom with a hairstyle I liked. I used a grey Ingres paper with Nitram Fusain Charcoal, heightened with white. I never really like charcoal until
 I used the Nitrams which I get at

They make subtle skin-tones much easier and are not as smeary as even the best vine charcoal.

Before my model comes I usually try to figure out either with a dummy or a camera tripod where she will stand. I measure the length of her head and her height and place as in the reference below a camera tripod in the area. I place a white paper or cardboard the length of the head so I can see how many head lengths will fit on my paper and still leave room for any background.

On another post, time permitting I will give you some clues as how I choose my colors.


Stefano Lanza said...

Hello, I really like this type of post, see how it works, it is interesting to see how you build the figure etc ...
I hope to see more posts like this

Sharon Knettell said...

Will do- I am getting a new camera. My computer crashed and I am no just getting it back online.

Stefano Lanza said...

I hope soon to see more posts. I hope you are well. I'm sorry for your broken computer. regards