DAY 5: Taking a sickie and Painting Trevor

5 February 2013

OK, so the title of this post is not quite exact, in that I did have the flu, which has now degraded to a hacking cough, but when I saw the weather this morning, and I thought of me on my wee folding bike battling to the station, I opted to stay home in the name of getting better.

Luckily it turned out that my husband, Trevor, had some time on his hands so offered to sit for me for a painting, as long as he could watch Top Gear. This is in fact the only way to get him to sit still for more than 10 minutes, unless he is asleep.

My handsome sitter!

I started off the painting by trying to draw the head neatly on the canvas which at 30 x 30cm, is quite small for me, but it kept getting larger. This is typical of the way I work. With all the best planning in the world, my paintings always eveolve more like sculptures in paint, where the layers over each other, tease out the illusion of a 3 dimensional object.

Portrait of Trevor,  in acrylics after 1 hour session.

This is how the painting looked after about 1 hour of continuous painting with no breaks.
After lunch, we returned to the session. This time, Trevor was watching a Brian Cox programme and I could tell there was a lot of information needing processed as he’d started frowning.

Acrylic Painting of Trevor after 2 x 1 hour sessions

He managed to stay awake for the rest of the programme (just) and this is the final result. There are still a few bits and pieces that could be improved, but overall I am pretty happy with the likeness. I always find the glasses difficult, particularly they way they defract the face to be much smaller in the lenses. I think this is why his forehead is not right. Another challenge with working over dried acrylic, is that the colours dry darker than when they are applied, so it is a challenge to paint a touch lighter than the true colours, something I never have to battle with when painting with oils.

Now tomorrow, I do battle with my own face!



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