Painting Rhea

One of my classmates Rhea very kindly let me take photos of her whilst at college. We used one of the studios and one of colleges cameras.

I want to use as much of my own visual research as I can that I can recreate using paints or recreating through sketching.

Here are some of the images of Rhea I took at college:


The images above were some of my favourite because I like the unconventionality of them. It looks as though Rhea is about to get up from the floor. There is movement without any physical movement as such. And this is what I wanted.

I am very much inspired my Mike Leonard. His artwork is so visually realistic and the way he uses composition is what initially attracted me to his work. I want to create the idea of motion in my work much the same as Mike Leonard does in his work.

I decided to paint three images of Rhea on separate canvases.

The photos I used to interpret this were all of Rhea posing in a similar positions then it looked more like she was doing something in the image and not just posing. I don’t want that classical look to my work. I want a more contemporary feel to them and to give the viewer an image of movement even though there is no movement in real life.

rhea4 I wanted to use these sorts of positions as they werent just of a typical pose. I wanted them to be more unusual and give me a something more diverse to paint and draw from.

These three images together give the impression that Rhea is maybe in the middle of moving. Maybe she is getting up from the floor. The idea of motion is apparent.

So once I decided on the photos i wanted to use I began planning out the image onto canvas.
I used acrylic paint to create the three paintings.

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The thing I found the most difficult about this first painting was getting Rhea’s hair to look right. I think I was concentrating too much on it at one point and trying to get in as much detail as I could to make it look more believable when I don’t think that this was really important. The colours eventually seemed to come together and I was finally happy with the outcome.

I tried to get the back ground colours quite soft like in the photo and I think that this worked very well and complimented the main image.

I started doing the background about half a quarter of the way through as I actually assists in the overall painting. It helps with the main image when it comes to the colours you are using as it seems to neutralize everything.


Two of the three paintings I did were completed through half term at home. So the paints I used even though they were still acrylic were a different shade of colour slightly to the ones I use at college. So the tone of two of the paintings seem quite a lot different to the first, which is the one where you can see the top of Rhea’s head.


Here is all three together. I think as a set of three they have more of an impact and create the visual effect that I am wanting to produce.


Because of the lighting on the photos of Rhea is slightly different, this has obviously had an effect on the overall outcome of the paintings. Because of the skin tone, in respect, the person in the images could be different because of the contrast in colour. But this was down to the skin tone being affected by the lighting when I took the photos.

I did try and match the skin tone as best as I could when I was painting.


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