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step by step

step by step

a pictorial record of how some of my paintings grew.

number 1 - Dorge Wearing My Hat

Stage 1 - I blocked in the canvas with an even covering of yellow ochre.

Stage 2 - I sketch in the outline of Dorge using a darker wash of ochre paint. Sometimes this stage is carried out with watercolour pencils.

Note: I am not adhering completely to the photographic reference but have cropped the painting to suit my wishes.

It is still possible to alter compositional details at this point.

Stage 3 - Adding the colour. I have no set routine of working from lights to dark, top to bottom, or anything like that. I block in the main banks of colour and gradually refine.

The position of all the elements is pretty well defined by this stage.

Stage 4 - Refining the smaller details, the facial expression, the marks on the clothing. At this stage it is really too late to alter any compositional flaws.

The background has also been dealt with - in far less detail than the main subjet of the foreground.

Stage 5 - The final picture. The last element to be refined is the shadowing. Light and dark highlights around the face add an extra dimension to the finished article.

visit the portrait gallery to see a larger version of this image.


click here < IMG_2389.jpg > to see a fuller image.

number 2 - Girl on the Beach

Stage 1 - The canvas is blocked in with two colours to broadly mimick the dominant colours that will make up the finished painting.

They are a yellow ochre wash and a dark blue/grey mix.

I am using a photographic reference though again certain elements will be altered.

Stage 2 - The outlines are marked in with the darker wash of burnt umber.

I have delineated the beach from the sea and sky though there is still plenty of opportunity at this stage to alter any drawing mistakes.

Stage 3 - Colour is added. The beach tone is laid down on top of the ochre base and the basic facial features of the subject are marked in for the first time.

They will be constantly reworked as the painting develops! 

Stage 4 - The layers of colour are built up and reworked. This glazing effect gives a deeper richer finish. The shadows from the beach umbrella are placed around the girl's feet.

Background elements are toyed with but will need further work.

Stage 5 - The angular shape of the towel on the right hand edge is softened.

The sky and sea have been worked in causing the hair to be chopped temporarily.

A different background has been created.

Stage 6 - Final touches are added. The hair is painted back in and the deck chairs are tidied up further. Shadows are added underneath them.

Subtle lights and shadows are added around the knees and the face.

visit the portrait gallery to see a larger version of this image.


click here < IMG_2380.jpg > to see a fuller image.

A selection of my paintings and photography

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